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.