How not to pay attention to tinnitus!
This must be one of the most asked questions I get.
You have heard that distraction is a great way to not focus on it anymore – but feel like no distraction is good enough?
I got you!
I have been there – I thought that I can´t distract myself from tinnitus as the distraction never seems loud enough to not hear the tinnitus and if it was loud enough – it was too loud so that it would hear my ears.
How did I start?
Yes, again distraction….
I started out by distracting myself.
But then I took it to the next level.
Like you saw in the blog post above – it is about doing it with all your senses. Of course it is easier when doing something you love.
But it can be done with any activity.
I started with brushing my teeth.
What do you usually think about when brushing your teeth? I think about my grocery list, what I want do with my life, life in general, my to-do list….it goes on and on.
I hardly think about what I am actully doing and my mind is somewhere else. In the past it often was also thinking abou how bad my tinnitus was and how I would not be able to life like that.
So I practiced to just be in the moment and pay attention to what I am doing. Thinking – I am at this backtooth right now. Brushing upwards. Now I move one tooth forward, brushing upwards…and so on.
It takes some practice to be able to do that, but it is possible!
When your brain is so focused on that action you won´t think about tinnitus.
Now I mentioned the word tinnitus and what did you do? Did you think about yours and check in how it is right now? Leading to a negative response within yourself?
Yup, that is a cycle as we can not NOT think about something. When I tell myself I don´t want to think about that person anymore – what do we do? We think about that person more and more and more. If I tell you not to think about a purple elephant…is that what pops up in your imagination?
For most people that is what happens. So If you tell yourself over and over that you can´t do that because you think about your tinnitus, that is what will happen. If you tell yourself that you don´t want to think about tinnitus. You will think about it even more. As it is on your mind.
Thinking about what we don´t want to think about is just shifting our attention right on that topic we want to avoid.
What to do?
Focus on something else with every fiber of our being! With every sense.
For example when you are eating.
- what does it smell like?
- what are the colors?
- how does it feel in your mouth?
- what kind of flavors can you make out?
- have you had something similar before?
- when was that and where did you eat that?
- would you want to have that food more often?
the list can go on and on. It is about diving into the topic in total.
At first I was not able to do it either.
So I started doing that while I had some background noise on. Gradually I reduced that backround noise over time.
Now I can be in a quiet room focusing on something without obsessing over ear ringing. At least for a certain time.
So give it a try!
And practice, practice, practice . . .