Log in
British Tinnitus Association
2,073 members1,523 posts

Acquiring a positive mindset

Acquiring a positive mindset

A few people have contacted me and asked what do they need to do to be more positive, as they are finding it difficult even though they try not to think negatively when their tinnitus is intrusive. Others are wondering will they improve to the point where the tinnitus will remain low or go away completely and never be heard? Some are worried they might never habituate and this is causing some concern.

The habituation process can be complex and each person’s journey through it will be unique to them. Most people do habituate and are able to carry on and lead a fulfilling life doing everything that they want to. However, it seems some people find this hard to believe and I understand this having habituated to tinnitus twice. On both occasions it required patience, determination and the belief that I would improve even at those times when I felt that I was at my lowest ebb.

Tinnitus can affect our emotions significantly and one must try to remember that. Anything that we can do to bring calm and relaxation into our life will usually have a beneficial effect and make it less intrusive. The opposite is true the more stressed we become as the noise will appear to be louder and more noticeable. Those new to tinnitus sometimes find this particularly difficult and if hyperacusis is present it can add to the dilemma. The whole process can became overwhelming at times but my advice, is to take things slowly and not to push too hard as this will put additional pressure on yourself that you really don’t need it. Whenever difficult times arrive, try accentuating the positive things in your life and focusing on them as this will help maintain your resolve.

For a moment think of the brain as a computer and our thoughts are the software that helps to drive it to enable it to do certain tasks. If the software is not running smoothly and unfettered the computer will not operate correctly. Similarly, if our thoughts are constantly taken up with negative thinking this can eventually have a detrimental effect on our well-being. I am not suggesting never to feel negative about your tinnitus I am saying, try not to allow negativity to become all consuming. Again, this isn’t easy especially in the early stages of tinnitus and takes time to learn but don’t believe that it is unobtainable as this will instil negative thinking.

How many times have you come up against a problem that you have been unable to find a solution to? Given the chance to mull things over for a while or after a good night sleep can often be beneficial. By the next day as if by a miracle, you have discovered an answer or made the right decision about something of importance. I believe this happens because the mind is calm and less stressed. I have heard writers and people that work in the arts, say their best ideas and inspirations comes to them when they feel this way. It’s as if the mind energy is able to expand and reach outwards tapping into some unknown source in the universe. I prefer to be more realistic and see it as when we are calm and relaxed, we are able to think more clearly and positively. Life will usually become easier and less problematic which has to be a good thing.

Whatever type of tinnitus you have, by this I mean the level of intrusiveness. Being able to think positively will have a beneficial effect by making its perception lower and the habituation process easier. Bringing positivity into your life takes time and isn’t achieved overnight. To start this process of acquiring a more positive mindset, I suggest practicing deep relaxation and muscle exercises. When done regularly the benefits will soon be realized and you will surprise yourself at what you will be able to achieve. This form of therapy is often mentioned in tinnitus books to help people with the condition. Likewise Yoga and CBT Mindfulness classes can be helpful.

Deep relaxation and muscle exercises cost nothing to learn providing you can spare up to thirty minutes of your time: three, four or five days per week. Just go to Youtube where there are many relaxation videos to choose and download and some come with narration, so you’ll be guided through the exercises from beginning to end. Once you become proficient at it you will be able to relax at will any time of the day.

Michael

healthunlocked.com/bta/post...

13 Replies
oldestnewest

Great post Michael. Thank you

3 likes
Reply

Thank you for your kind words Alex, much appreciated.

All the best

Michael

1 like
Reply

Good article as always Michael - even those of us who have (mostly) habituated - accepted - our tinnitus occasionally need reassuring words. Angela xx

3 likes
Reply

Thank you Angela.

I am pleased that you have habituated and accepted the tinnitus because this is where it's at. Unless a person accepts their tinnitus they will never habituate, even if their tinnitus is mild. Some people I know only hear their tinnitus in very quiet surroundings and yet they still complain .

Rather than have low level sound enrichment playing in the background at night, they want to sleep in completely silent room as they did before the onset of tinnitus. Remarkable. Some people never satisfy and don't know how lucky they are.

Take care and thanks again for your kind words.

Michael

2 likes
Reply

I have got used to my tinnitus , not much choice. I still an not sure about the cognitive approach that has so much sway at the moment . I had a good , very positive day at work yesterday , had a nice hour or so relaxing, made a healthy tea , did a relaxation half hour from the eprogramme and went to be feeling proud and ok - certainly not negative about my tinnitus. Slept for 7 hours . So all positive. However, the hiss going round my head this morning is horrendous. I am not negative but experiencing a very real physical discomfort.

Reply

Hi Lindsay,

You might want to consider giving white noise generators a try to help you distract from the hissing when it's intrusive. I wear WNG and find them very helpful for this. Keep the volume slightly below your tinnitus. Have a word with your hearing therapist about them.

Michael

1 like
Reply

Thanks Michael. I haven't a hearing therapist,not on offer. I gave a great audiologist and I have wng but she says and I know my tinnitus is too loud and aggressive for them to make any difference. Thanks for replying

1 like
Reply

Was I you yesterday? Sounds like my day on Sunday last week!!

1 like
Reply

The hissing sound might not be Tinnitus, I get it too, and I'm 100% sure the sound is from some external source ( i.e. from a restaurant air conditioning fan nearby my house) I use a sound generator on white-noise mode to great effect. I find white noise helps my Hyperacusisis but not Tinnitus. Having said this, I have already habituated to the" Bell Ringing Phantom", I just ignore the Tinnitus in the background . More to the point, I find you never really habituate to Hyperacusisis: It's a different animal to Tinnitus. Its" The White Elephant" feeding itself in the Tinnitus garden.

Reply

Hyperacusis can be treated and is curable. I once had very severe hyperacusis. So bad when in conversation with someone I had to ask them to please lower their voice as my ears hurt so much. It was cured wearing white noise generators as part TRT. That was 18 years ago and I'm still hyperacusis free.

Michael

2 likes
Reply

That's awesome! Certainly gives me hope, undergoing TRT to help desensitize H too, almost 5mths in and not doing much for H in fact sometimes the pink noise generators really irritate my ears and can cause discomfort/pain. How long did it take for your H to be cured? J 😀

Reply

Hi Juliepatchouli,

TRT needs to be done correctly for it to work. Some people believe they are having TRT when actually it isn't but are having parts of it.

For instance: Just wearing white noise generators without regular counselling is not TRT. Two white noise generators should be worn and not just one.

A person may gain some benefit but without the counselling result may not be as good. Counselling is with a Hearing Therapist is very important as it helps to dispel and demystify a lot of the negative thinking that a patient has about their tinnitus and this shouldn't be overlooked.

The white noise generators also need to be adjusted and worn correctly, otherwise they could make the tinnitus worse.

In the morning they should be put on and the white noise adjusted to slightly below the tinnitus. The tinnitus must not be masked or covered up so that it can't be heard. This is very important. Unless the brain can hear the tinnitus slightly about the white noise generators, habituation will be difficult.

Ideally the white noise generators should be worn for up to 10hrs a day. At night the shouldn't be worn whilst asleep. Instead a sound machine should be placed by the bedside and the volume set slightly below the tinnitus. It should play throughout the night until morning. This supplies the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment.

Some people find the white noise generators irritating at first. Therefore, they should be introduced slowly. Start by wearing them for 1 or 2 hrs then take them off for the same amount of time. Then reintroduce them. Slowly build up the wearing time over a few weeks until a maximum of 8 to 10hrs a day is achieved.

I have written an article on tinnitus titled: Tinnitus, A Personal View. It covers treatment of noise induced tinnitus from consultation with an ENT doctor, tests and treatments including TRT. If you would like a copy, then please send me your email address by Private Message. Please do not post it in the forum.

Michael

2 likes
Reply

Hi Lindsay, you seem more positive, thankfully. Hope you have some nice distracting activities this weekend and try not to get stressed if your footballer team don't do well! I agree about the physical pain that can accompany our T - the sounds are secondary to the pain. I occasionally get what feels like a very fizzy painful headache. Love and best wishes, Angela xx catch up next week

1 like
Reply

You may also like...