Many people write me and ask what they can do now to fix their tinnitus. While that may seem like an unreasonable expectation, to expect immediate relief, I do believe there are simple rules to follow that can achieve this goal.
Having had tinnitus since 1999 I’ve had the great opportunity of learning from many people on how to change my life situation. Obviously tinnitus is part of that life situation and certainly not that best part of my life I can assure that.
But, I did learn a great deal and I’d like to share those observations with you now.
First, I had to come to the realization that tinnitus was not just going to disappear overnight. As much as I hoped, wished, begged and rationalized, it just wasn’t in the cards. Therefore how could I learn to alleviate the symptoms and function as a normal human being?
So, the first step is the realization that I had to change something else because of course the tinnitus seemed virtually unfixable. So what could I change? Me, of course! I had to change my reaction to tinnitus. I had to change the way I looked at it and thought about it. While this may seem like a simple task, nothing could be further from the truth. It required constant moment to moment monitoring of my thoughts.
For example, what was I thinking at any given moment? Was I focused on the tinnitus and the pain it gave me or was I focused on what I wanted to have happen in my life? If you want to know how to do this here’s a little exercise.
Pick 2 random times in any 24 hour period such as 1pm and 7pm and set your cell phone alarm to go off. Then, when it does, ask yourself this question; “What am I focused on right now?” So, if your mind had gone back into fear and worry and the pain of tinnitus then you know you still have some work to do.
Next, once you realize that you are focusing your energy in the wrong direction, simply make it the last time you will think that thought. Train yourself to do this immediately. Don’t wait. If you allow your mind to take you where it wants to go then you are its slave. You must stop that.
What should you do instead, if indeed you find you are focused on tinnitus and its negative effects? Don’t try to change or fix the thought, move your attention to something else. Again, do this immediately. If you have to get up and move, or take yourself to a new location or start a new task then do it.
Make sure that when you shift your focus you shift it to what it is your truly want to do. Don’t change the though for another negative thought, that’s not the point. Move beyond your mind’s negative control and take yourself out of the situation and adopt a new one.
Then of course you say to yourself, “well, what am I supposed to move my attention to?” That’s a valid question and here’s the answer. Move your focus to something you love. If you don’t love anything then you’ve got problems way deeper than can be handled in this article. Sorry, but it’s true.
But, for most of you I’m sure you can find something to do that you love to do. Some people like walking, others enjoy Starbucks, others like to read, others like to listen to music, others like to ski…and the list goes on and on.
In short, the 3 steps for stopping tinnitus dead in its tracks are this; 1. Simply notice that you are under its control, 2. Decide to make this the last time that you allow that to happen and 3. Switch your focus of attention to something you love.
For me, the hardest part was the second step; deciding to make this the last time I thought that thought. But, based on my experience it gets easier with practice. And, believe me; knowing what you want can go a long way to help you to rid yourself of what it is you don’t want.