Tinnitus is a condition where the affected person hears a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound in the ears in the absence of any such external stimuli. This condition affects several people across America, yet no known cure exists for it. Even so, various methods can provide relief and alleviate the symptoms associated with tinnitus, including meditation.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
The symptoms of tinnitus are often indicative of an underlying health condition, sometimes hearing loss and even cardiovascular disease. Some types of medications are also known to cause tinnitus, such as ototoxic ones. Tinnitus may become worse after being exposed to loud levels of sound.
Meditation for Tinnitus
While meditation may seem like a somewhat creative and far-fetched solution to tinnitus, various studies from the British Tinnitus Association have found that certain meditation techniques can actually be helpful for those with tinnitus.
Cognitive Therapy that focuses on Mindfulness meditation is an especially effective method of aiding relaxation in those with tinnitus. Stress is a major cause for tinnitus, and by practicing effective mindfulness techniques, we can teach our body to relax and let go of the tension within our body and mind.
Mindfulness meditation is based on Buddhist teachings. This technique helps release anxiety and reduces negative thinking. It even has other benefits such as helping manage chronic pain, deal with substance addiction, and even combats insomnia. Sleep deprivation is another cause for tinnitus, and by practicing mindfulness you will be able to get a restful night’s sleep, thereby automatically reducing your symptoms of tinnitus.
In order to practice mindfulness meditation, you can start by finding a quiet, dimly lit room and sit in a comfortable posture. Concentrate on your breathing and take long, slow, deep breaths. Feel the tension fall away from your body with each exhalation. Let your thoughts flow in and out of your mind without focusing on any of them. With time, you will be able to let go of your tensed muscles and your overcrowded mind to enjoy a serene quietude that puts you into a deep sense of peaceful relaxation.
Music and Soothing Sounds
To aid all your senses you can use soothing music such as instrumental music or sounds of nature. You can even use the help of an instructor or therapist to help narrate you through a guided session of mindfulness meditation.
If you have a smart phone, you can download applications that provide you with various soothing nature sounds (such as the Calm app). You can play these sounds even when you are not practicing meditation, simply as a way of enabling your ears to have a different auditory experience. This can help shift the focus from your tinnitus to these alternative sounds.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a significantly effective method of treating tinnitus, according to the Welsh Hearing Institute. When used in collaboration with meditation, CBT resulted in a significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms of the participants, with 80% of participants indicating that they had noticed a drastic reduction in symptoms.
Tinnitus can be a frustrating and annoying problem, but there are effective ways to manage it. The symptoms of tinnitus can be alleviated using meditation and relaxation techniques taught through CBT.