One of the earliest signs of hearing loss is often tinnitus, that annoying or painful ringing or buzzing in your ears. You’ve experienced the frustration of a sleepless night, kept awake by sounds that are all in your head, and struggled through meetings at work where the buzzing rings so loudly in the silence. Tinnitus can’t be cured, but there are a few things you can do to manage your tinnitus, including meditation.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is that ringing, roaring, whistling, or whirring sound you hear in your head. Tinnitus is hearing noise in the absence of any external sounds, meaning you’ll normally notice tinnitus when you’re in a quiet place. No one else can hear what you’re hearing because it’s all in your head. While no one knows exactly what causes tinnitus, we all know that it can be devastating, interfering with sleep, focus, concentration, relaxation, work, communication, and relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, more than 45 million Americans have experienced tinnitus in the past few months, and half of these deal with tinnitus on a daily basis. It’s often the worst at night, and those with tinnitus often have a lot of trouble sleeping or getting a good night’s rest.
Meditation for Tinnitus
Sadly, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, if you’ve been living with sounds that no one else can here, there are a few tricks for managing this pesky humming or buzzing in your ears and getting on with your day without stressing about your tinnitus. Meditation has been found to be an effective management strategy for managing tinnitus. When you first sit down to meditate, you might find that your tinnitus is especially troublesome or loud, since most people meditate in a silent room. But through focused concentration, you can use meditation to control tinnitus.
Steps to Meditation
When you meditate, the first step is to sit in a comfortable, upright posture, and relax. Breathe in and breathe out deeply, concentrating on your breath. Once you’re comfortable, set the intention that you won’t move. Allow your body to be completely still and quiet. If you notice an itch or a twitch or some mild discomfort in your body, that’s ok. Observe it calmly and watch it pass without engaging with it, or scratching the itch, wiggling, blowing your nose, or clearing your throat.
Finally, don’t engage with your thoughts. This may seem almost impossible at first, and your mind will be racing. Just observe the thoughts as they come and go, and return your thoughts to your breath, slowly clearing your mind of these distractions. Don’t worry if you have a lot of thoughts, that’s perfectly normal. Every time your mind wanders, gently bring it back to awareness of your breath in the present moment. You can even try counting your breaths to keep your mind centered in your breathing.
How Meditation Helps
Meditation sounds like it should be easy. All you have to do is sit with your eyes closed, right? Meditation is a lot harder than it looks and requires a lot of concentration and practice. As you meditate more, you’ll find it becomes easier to calm your mind and body, and your tinnitus will calm as well. The ringing or buzzing will subside, and fade into the background. For someone who lives with a constant whistling or roaring in their ears, these moments of silence are a great relief. Give meditation a try and see how it can bring calmness and provide relief from all the unwanted sounds.
Sound Therapy for Tinnitus
If you’ve tried everything else and can’t live with this ringing sound in your head, you have another option. Sound therapy for tinnitus is a very effective way to control these noises that affect you in the absence of other sounds.
At My Hearing Centers, our hearing devices have advanced tinnitus therapy programs that can manage your tinnitus and bring relief. Sound therapy works by playing soft sounds, white noise, pink noise, or soothing nature sounds, allowing your tinnitus to fade into the background and disappear. Whether in a meeting at work, walking in the park, or trying to sleep in your quiet room at night, sound therapy can help you concentrate on tasks, relax, and sleep.