Externalising Tinnitus – It is not a part of you

How would you describe tinnitus?

Right now I am not talking about the sound or the frequency.

When you think about it – what does it look like?

A few months back I would have described it like that:

Describing Tinnitus

I saw it imprisoning me. I thought, that it was something keeping me in a jail not being able to experiencing all the fun out there. I drew as my representation even a sad old lady.

I perceived the tinnitus as a part of me, as something deep within me that makes me feel bad and brings me down.

So I thought more about it.

What did this feeling, tinnitus brought up in me, look like?

Let´s imagine it as a figure / character.

  • What shape would I associate it with?
  • What color?
  • What smell?
  • What taste?
  • And where would it be located?
  • How old would this figure be? What sex does it have?
  • And what would it/he/she say typically?

This is how I imagined it:

For me it was a mean black cloud over my head.

It was attached to me on my ears and went with me anywhere. It often covered up my ears so I was not albe to hear things or not right. It made everything difficult.

Smell and taste was difficult to determine for me – but it smelled more like trash and tasted like something really toxic.

In my imagination it was actually male and war really old and sluggish.

The black cloud was super mean – it woud constantly tell me that I was not able to do that and that I was a total failure.

As it would be its own figure, it would not be inside me. It would be outside.

It was a big shift for me to NOT see it as a part of me anymore but as something that I have been taking with me.

Giving it a form and shape helped me to stop wondering and not feel like I suffer from this mysterious illness (even though it is not an illness – but a symptom).

It also helped me to finally realize that I am not tinnitus, that it is not a part of who I am. It is something that has been going along with me, because I brought it with me.

In need of some inspiration for this exercise?

Get inspired by this video, just like I did:

It is about depression – but in my opinion it paints a good picture and we can transfer that to tinnitus.
source: World Health Organization (WHO)

But I have the power to take it off my head and leave it away somewhere.


Have there been times when it hasn´t been there? Yes!

When doing yoga – when meditating and when I am focused on something completely.

The big change was me starting to work with the cloud and imagining it when I did something. So when doing yoga it gets lighter, in weight and in color. That way I can put the cloud aside and leave it there for a while.

When I am stressing myself about something I give the power back to the cloud and it becomes darker and heavier again. Weighing me down and limiting me in my actions.

Just like in the video, the man started to put the dog on a leash and train it to be able to do tricks. I did the same with the cloud over my head.

Visualizing the cloud and asking myself what it looks like now, helped me to understand better what helps me and how much power that gives back to me. Like when meditating- the cloud is light like a feather and super clear. Then I can just take my hand and push it away like a ballon.

Ask yourself the questions. What about the tinnitus in your life?

What does it look like and how does this exercise make you feel?