Ways to Relax Despite Tinnitus
Day-to-day responsibilities like work, school, or taking care of a family can keep you extremely busy. When a ringing or buzzing in the ear becomes overwhelming, it can turn a normal day into a stressful one.
Tinnitus is an annoying noise that never seems to go away. It can be distracting, put you on edge, and increase stress and anxiety. While it’s a more common phenomenon than you may realize, it is not as a hopeless condition as you’ve probably been told. Relaxation techniques can help reduce your tinnitus symptoms and allow you to enjoy your day free of irritating phantom noises.
Try the following to reduce your tinnitus symptoms:
While breathing comes naturally to all living beings, we tend to neglect the positive effects it can have on our bodies. Breathing techniques help you focus on your body’s natural rhythm and can be extremely calming. A big bonus of breathing exercises is that they’re easy to do, can be done anywhere, and take no time at all. Here are two techniques that can help you control your breathing, relax your body, and ease tinnitus symptoms:
- Take long, even breaths through your nose and release them out your mouth. While exhaling, focus on releasing the tension in your shoulders, jaw, neck, and core. This creates an all-over calming effect. Repeat three to four times per session.
- Breathe in and out through your nose slowly then hold your breath for two-three seconds. Be mindful of the time between your breaths. Repeat the exercise three to four times and be sure to stay relaxed while holding your breath. This exercise promotes better concentration.
Meditation is a great way to incorporate your breathing exercises and put your body into a relaxed state. The downside is that regular meditation is usually a silent affair — something most tinnitus sufferers want to avoid. A better option to help relax while easing symptoms is guided meditation. With this technique you listen to a person’s voice with your eyes closed as they give you exercises to help achieve a relaxed state. While there may be some pauses between speaking, many locations have ambient noise playing in the background to create a calming soundscape.
When coping with tinnitus avoid complete silence so you don’t hyper-focus on tinnitus noises. Soothing sounds, like ocean waves and white noise, can help alleviate tinnitus symptoms and calm your mind and body. They help by making your tinnitus less noticeable, thus encouraging your brain to focus less on the annoying phantom noise and more on relaxing external sounds.
Advancements in technology have allowed tinnitus therapy features to be incorporated into modern hearing aids. Hearing aids make environmental sounds more audible, and oftentimes this alone is sufficient to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. Different sound therapy signals are available so you and your hearing care professional can choose the sound that is most comfortable and effective. These typically include:
- Static noises (e.g., white noise, pink noise)
- Nature-inspired sounds (e.g. ocean waves)
Alternately, for Signia hearing aid wearers, Notch Therapy is a unique therapeutic approach that has been shown to be very effective against a certain common type of tinnitus. Rather than introducing another sound like Sound Therapy approaches, Notch Therapy works in the background imperceptibly, offering long-term relief over time.
It’s good to begin practicing relaxation techniques when you aren’t stressed. The more you practice, the easier it will be to achieve relaxation when you are experiencing anxiety, aggravation, and other negative reactions to tinnitus symptoms. You will gain more control over your emotions, your body, and your tinnitus.