Tinnitus Habituation – Tool Box

I have made quite some posts about tinnitus habituation. In those posts together with the knowledge I gained through the years of having tinnitus and through getting to know my own ear ringing as well the try and error of trying things out.

A big part of this series was my time in a tinnitus rehabilitation clinic and the book Tinnitus KognitiveVerhaltenstherapeutisches Behandlungsmanual by Birgit Kröner-Herwig, Burkard Jäger and Gerhard Goebel.

So in my last post in the habituation series I want to summarize everything you have learnt about the habituation process and the tools you can use.

Let´s summarize important information:

  • Tinnitus is not dangerous
  • Over time most people learn to adjust
  • Overall there is no indicator that it gets worse of time
  • Not all people with tinnitus feel impaired

Tools  – what can you do about tinnitus:

Relaxation:

We have talked about relaxation and how important it is in order to not get bothered as much. So as a reminder, I can talk about what helps me, but you need to find what helps to relax YOU in the long run. To not even built up to  a high stress level and staying calm generally. I use sports, yoga and meditation as well as fresh air / nature.

What short time solutions can you find for yourself to calm yourself down in a difficult situation – like for me that are breathing exercises.

Attention Shifting:

This is an important part!

Focusing on what you are doing right now or on an interesting activity with all your senses. Concentrating on all the other sensation will help the brain to not focus on tinnitus again.

I also made a video about it:

Tinnitus-Association:

When we think about tinnitus and only have nasty thoughts in mind – it makes it soooo much worse. With the power of our imagination it is important to associate also positive or maybe neutral things with it. That way tinnitus won´t control your mood as much not drag you down as much.

Evaluation of Feelings:

You learned in my posts about tinnitus habituation, that each impulse gets evaluated by us, depending on that evaluation it gets categorized in our brain as important or not. So by substituting those negative reactions and thoughts to our tinnitus, we can support our brain to not categorize it as danger anymore and not to have it under 24/7 surveillance.

Sleep:

We have talked about sleep, which it is important in order to feel well rested but also to not stress too much about it.

So try to set up a good sleeping environment. I have made several posts about sleeping before:

Misconception:

In my habituation posts you were able to see that it is important to reveal our own misconceptions towards tinnitus, which lead to deteriorating the situation. So it is important to uncover your thought process and conclusions you have drawn from it so far and then replacing them with more positive ones or by fact checking solving them completely.

Withstanding Tinnitus:

Take away its power by not seeing yourself as a victim and discovering what you still can do. Taking back your power and discovering your life with tinnitus. You will find out that there are still so many things you can do.

Also making sure that not everything is tinnitus´ fault. Finding the reasoning behind it and working with that rather than blaming tinnitus for everything that is not going as desired in your life.

Coping with Illness:

In my last tinnitus habituation post, I talked about coping with illnesses and how important that is in order to deal with tinnitus. It always depend on our strategies on how we are able to deal with it and feel about it. So work on your strategies, how to feel well, how to create your well-being.

Enjoyment:

And then finally, do yourself something good! Do something to pamper yourself and make yourself feel good.

Emergency Plan:

Last but not least, make an emergency plan for a relapse into the dark hole or if you have a spike.

If you have found something, that helps you, write it down. Rate it, on a scale from 1-10, what kind of effect it has and how quickly. If you do that every time something helps you, after a while you will have a long list to use when you need it.

If you feel like it is too difficult to find out what helps and what not – try keeping a tinnitus journal: