Overcome The Negative Association With Tinnitus
This is a follow-up post to one of my last posts about emotions influencing our tinnitus and in there I talked about how negative associations make it worse for us.
If you missed it, read it here:
It seemed like this was a topic many people could relate to. So, let´s look at it a little closer, how does this negative association really start?
Each behavior we take on or show has its origin somewhere, it has an outside or a cause on your inside. It could be a feeling or memory (cause within us) or a reaction to a person or noise (outside cause). So our cause is a neutral situation at first, but then we evaluate it and according to that evaluation we react.
So in our case we are talking to our reaction to tinnitus. We always have a neutral situation at first, here we talk about the beeping, whistling or humming sound in our ears – without judgment we could say it is a sound. We evaluated that sound and the result of the evaluation was negative. So our reaction was negative as well.
Such negative reactions can be the cause for a vicious cycle to start.
- Situation: you are in
you can hear your tinnitus very loudly and clearly.
- Negative evaluation (intellectual
you think you won´t be able to sleep.
you feel worse and worse and worse. Actually won´t be able to sleep.
So depending on your attitude toward the situation, you can influence the outcome.
As we can see, depending on how our evaluation turns out, the situation canget worse. If we would just lay in bed and notice the tinnitus without drawingthe conclusion that this will lead to a sleepless night. We might just think,oh that sound is kind of annoying I better sleep right away to not hear itanymore and the consequence would be to fall asleep quickly.
Consequently, it can also happen that the fact of having tinnitus and the negative evaluation of just that fact brings such a negative consequence with it that it drives people into depression.
Many people tell me, about their situation – hearing that annoying ear ringing in their head all day long (situation) doesn´t make life worth living anymore (evaluation). The consequence of that kind of thinking is that they have one horrible day after another.
How do you know if you are depressed?
Do you not want to do anything any longer?
Does it become harder and harder to get going?
There is a difference of feeling down and sad and a depression. If you the sadness doesn´t go way over some weeks and you can´t seem to get out of bed anymore . . . please don´t hesitate to seek a doctor, therapist or psychologist to talk about it. There is no shame in seeking help. When your body doesn´t feel well you go to the doctor also. Well if your mind doesn´t feel well there is no difference.
The only difference is that you will get the help you need to feel better again.
As you could see above, it all depends on our evaluation of the situation. It is important here to work with your evaluation, if you can see the situation in a more positive or even in a more neutral light – it would help you to feel better! So try to substitute your negative evaluation with a neural one.
I know what you are thinking right now – how could you possible think about your tinnitus in a positive way?! Just negative things are coming to your mind right now?
That is understandable. But you have to understand that at least a more neutral way of thinking about your ear ringing is the key to reduce the burden.
Take it step by step and try to gain your power back over your well-being and over your tinnitus. You will see, once you have achieved that, you will feel a lot better! And you won´t perceive your tinnitus as negative and as incriminating anymore.
I for one love affirmations and have talked about them several times already. If you want to know how affirmations work, read here: https://thetinnituslife.com/2017/09/22/you-can-influence-your-tinnitus-with-your-mind/
But today we don´t want to use affirmations for a general well-being or for more positivity in general. No, we want to work on your tinnitus. Try it with this:
- I won´t let this tinnitus to get the best of me.
- I shift my focus on something else.
- Tinnitus won´t dominate my whole day.
- I am relaxed and at peace.
- I keep cool and think about my next step.
- I am in charge of the situation, not my tinnitus.
- I know that it is going to get better.
- This is a challenging situation, which I will master.
- . . .
These are just some examples. Make up your own affirmations.
You don´t know how to make up your affirmations? Just do this:
You know a lot of things why tinnitus has turned your life into a living hell, right? Well here is your chance, write a list! Write down what is it, that is bugging you the most at the moment.
Then turn it around and write itpositive!
I can´t do this any longer – turns into: I can do this!
I feel helpless. – turns into: I have power and am in charge of my life.
I can´t sleep. – turns into: I have a peaceful and relaxing sleep and wake up rested.
Get the picture? Try it – it is addictive. Then tell yourself those affirmations over and over again.
Try to enforce thoughts that show that youcan influence your tinnitus!
For example: When I turn on my whitenoise machine at night, I will just sleep fine.
Focus on thoughts that are empowering!
For example: I know I can master thiswork day today, I have done it many times before – so why not today?
Choose thoughts that are neutraltowards your tinnitus!
For example: I have more importantthings to do than listen to my tinnitus all day long.
Don´t forget that a spike or flare upisn´t forever!
Use this affirmation: I have had flareups like that before and know it gets better again.
Create your own affirmations, because it isimportant that they work for you. Not the same ones work for everyone, theyhave to be believable and realistic for you. If you tell yourself that you willbe tinnitus-free by tomorrow, it won´t work because you actually have tobelieve it. So make sure they fit for your situation right now, but make sureyou can believe in them.
But what when you are freaking out atthe moment and don´t know how to calm yourself down.
First of all, the best thing is to calm yourself down at least for a little while. Breathing is one of the ways to calm down quickly – read more about it here:
Then evaluate the situation again – is it really as bad as you think or could you try to change your point of few? Maybe with the turn-around technique we talked about earlier. Write down what is freaking you out and then turn it into a positive affirmation.
Of course it is not something that will work when you tell yourself one affirmation one time. It is about telling it yourself over and over again and believing it. Have patience and practice!
It never hurts to evaluate a situation afterwards, to see how you can handle it the next time.
Over time you will see it will become a habit to substitute negative thoughts with positive ones and the positive affirmations will just pop into your mind.