Take control over your tinnitus – Don´t be the victim of your tinnitus

How does your tinnitus make you feel? Like you are not in control over your life anymore? Like living your life at your tinnitus´ mercy?

That is an awful feeling.

But not only that – it kept me from doing anything about it. I was sure there wasn´t anything I could do, so I just gave up … I became the victim and just played along.

I felt like the whole life was against me and one bad experience after another hit me while I observed jealously how my friends where only thriving. Seen from my point of view back then…

I became super pessimistic and cynical – it often seemed like I enjoyed telling others how much I suffered, how bad life was treating me, gasping for their compassion.

Being my worst critic didn´t help the situation at all, I couldn´t do anything right in my eyes.

That is how I felt. Depressed and sorry for myself.

My tinnitus was basically controlling my life. Even when someone suggested a method they had heard about to heal, I wasn´t open to hear about it – as I was sure it would never work and that I would suffer forever. I even felt like they didn´t take my situation seriously because of suggesting such a trivial solution to me.

I was won´t be able to feel better ever and that I was being punished for something. I wanted others to see that “truth” and nothing more.

I wasn´t open to any other topic anymore, all conversations I lead were about my suffering.

So if my tinnitus were an evil person it would have gotten exactly what it wanted, right?

According to Webster’s dictionary a victim is someone who has been attacked, injured, robbed, killed, cheated, or fooled by someone else, or harmed by an unpleasant event.

Psychology Today states, that “victim mentality stems from an inability or unwillingness to take ownership of her [his] own wants and needs.” The magazine also says that feeling like a victim constantly is due to a sense of powerlessness.

Here are some points Psychology Today recommends to break free from victim mentality:

How to Break Free from Victim Mentality

  • Take ownership and responsibility for your own needs and wants.

It took me forever to do that. I blamed my tinnitus for everything that was happening in my life. Somehow I always found a way to explain why my tinnitus caused that situation or outcome.

Once I started to accept my own part of the situation I could see my own power again, that I was able to take care of myself and my things. Even though having tinnitus I could make things happen, because it did not control my whole life.

I started to set goals again and implemented short steps to realize them. Having goals really helps to get motivated and to get active.

  • Practice saying “No.” 

I think we all know that stress is toxic for tinnitus – causing flare ups and such. Accepting more and more tasks, especially ones we don´t really want to do, just adds to our stress. So, NO additional stress – say NO to things you don’t really have to do OR don´t want to do. You´ll see how good you feel!

  • Stop blaming. 

To blame others is just so easy and the blame-game seems to run through our veins. We probably already blamed something we have done on another child in kindergarden. People just don´t like to accept or say that they have done something wrong or have caused an unpleasant situation.

It actually shows a lot of strengths and character to not point your finger at others. No matter if others caused it or not, it is so much negativity we don´t want to bring into our lives.

Like in point 1, accept your own part in the story. Plus, take on responsibility for your actions.

Every time to catch yourself blaming someone, just stop yourself from putting that negative energy out there and / or for not accepting your responsibility for your actions.

  • Become aware of the root of your sense of powerlessness. 

Do you feel like you are at your life´s mercy – have you ever wondered why that is?

Why do you think you can´t do anything about it?

Why can´t you see your power?

Why do you think that change is not possible?

  • Be kind to yourself. 

Show yourself some compassion. Not compassion, that you are a poor thing having been cursed with tinnitus.

No, compassion for having a hard time. Getting rid of all the blame might already reduce the suffering as that adds to it by feeling powerless.

  • Turn your focus to helping others

“Help yourself by helping others” – John Templeton

Shifting the attention away from yourself and to see in how much need others are sure gets rid of that victim mentality.

  • Practice gratitude.  

Finding things you are grateful for is such a good exercise. It shows you that you do have good things in your life and can actually change the way you think.

Pick the same time every day and then think about 3 things you are grateful for. While it is hard in the beginning, you will see that it will become easier daily – you will think more positive. You will even have a more positive vibes surrounding you and attract more positive things into your life!

  • Write a list of the ways you can change the bad situation. 

To be able to see that we actually can change something about the situation we are in, it is good to see it written down.

I thought if my tinnitus doesn´t disappear I won´t feel better.

Then I thought about it and my game plan then went into the direction – feel better.

I wrote down all the things I can do to feel better.

Those things I started to include in my daily routine or into my life. Make sure the things are SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-based) So you can see if it really helps you or not.

It also helped me to remind myself what I wanted to do and to stick to it.

  • Practice empathic listening. 

Shift your focus away from yourself and be there for somebody else completely.

Listen, just listen to what they have to say and not focused on what you want to answer or how that related to your situation. Listen actively and focus on what they actually have to say – verbally and non-verbally.

That really helps to stop thinking about your own problems for a while and it feels good to be there for someone. It also is a good way to connect with others.

  • Practice forgiveness.

Resentment, anger, bitterness and jealousy controlled my life for quite some time when I got tinnitus.

Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about yourself and freeing yourself from all those negative feelings surrounding that person or situation. It is about letting go. 

You can forgive anything and everything.

Forgiveness sets us free – even from our negative thoughts.

I know it isn´t easy. Responsibilities are always hard to accept and see, but there is so much we can do to feel better. BUT only if we accept that we can do something about it.

AND WE CAN!

Check out the magazine Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/inviting-monkey-tea/201801/are-you-ready-stop-feeling-victim