How Do You Deal with Your Tinnitus While Meditating?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Flet, Dec 2, 2021.

    1. Flet
      Alienated

      Flet Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Pre-COVID-19, I used to do Yoga but then the gyms closed. Now that my tinnitus has spiked and isn't seeming to go down, I was wondering about getting back into Yoga and adding Meditation.

      But my biggest problem is, with meditation, as it's quiet internal focus based, all I hear is that darn ringing (2 high pitch tones and a much much lower rumble).

      Does anyone here meditate? And if so, how do you deal with your tinnitus while doing it?

      And of course, does meditation help you with your tinnitus, be it habituation or just calm?

      Any help is appreciated.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 3
    2. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I have meditated every day (often twice) for about 4 months (still waiting on any kind of change from it). I meditate with low ambience sound, in the background. Sitting in silence gives me a panic attack in only a couple minutes. Not possible. Even with a bit of sound it's still hard.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      How loud is your tinnitus?
       
    4. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I have been asking this for long time.

      I think meditation is the best way to deal with tinnitus. I almost had a panic attack yesterday night. If I had trained my mind with meditation I am sure I would have been able to divert my mind instead of just panicking. I keep promising myself to do it but have been lazy.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      It isn't really the loudness that is as much of an issue, as the number of tones and their behaviour. I have several new tones that constantly changes frequencies up and down every few seconds, and beeps, pauses, beeps, pauses and so on. Absolutely mental.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Gee82

      Gee82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Meditation is one of those many things that tinnitus took from me. Meditating, sleeping, reading a book... all gone. I have tried hard to adapt to my new “normal” but failed.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
      • Agree Agree x 2
    7. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      How long had you been meditating before tinnitus?
       
    8. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      That's the issue with my new spike. For the first time I think in 10-11 years I can't fully mask it like before.

      I read few studies based off of UK and it seems mindfulness meditation made a huge difference on tinnitus sufferers. I am looking into enrolling into a course in Southern California. I will research soon and maybe I can find a good course.

      We have no choice. We need to make the best of what we have been dealt with. I know it's easier said than done.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Meditation is not usually advised for people that have tinnitus especially in a quiet environment, as it allows the brain to focus on internal sounds within the body and head. This can increase the tinnitus.

      Using low level sound enrichment during the day and especially at night is usually more effective. Over time the brain focuses on the sound enrichment and the tinnitus is pushed further into the background.
       
    10. Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      I am a long time meditator, and have had tinnitus for about 40 years now.

      As I wrote lately in another thread, tinnitus is a challenge, when it comes to meditation. It calls for enhanced skills allowing for a deeper meditative state. One have to manage tinnitus during meditation just like trains of thoughts are managed - you cannot get rid of them, you just do not give your attention either to your tinnitus or to your thoughts.

      About trains of thoughts, some people say they can get a totally silent mind, but that is quite rare, and, obviously, impossible to validate. For most people, like myself, meditation is about not identifying yourself with your thoughts, and keeping quietly distanced from them, and let them come and go. It means staying deeply centered in your conscious, silent, presence, without triggering emotional response to whatever is, including your tinnitus. The louder the tinnitus (or the more thoughts trains coming and going in your mind), the more skillful one has to become at letting go. The key is to not identify yourself neither to your thoughts, nor your tinnitus, or to any emotions that could arise from the tinnitus, like irritation, sadness, anxiety, or else.

      That, for sure, is one of the best benefits we can gain from meditation: being able to get some perspective and distance between us and our thoughts, emotions, noise in the surrounding... and tinnitus... which can become part of all this noise we learn no to stick to, and stay in our calm, inner, flowing presence. Whenever I get too much stuck on my tinnitus and to my emotional reactions to it, I bring back my awareness deeper in the non-physical place of my inner peace. I hope this makes sense to you.

      Using some soft soundtrack can help when the tinnitus is too loud and the environment too silent. River sound with birds, or calm meditation music, or binaural beats. But since 2018, when my tinnitus made a jump in base level after 20 years of stability, any track is not enough to mask my tinnitus, Otherwise, it would be too loud and would worsen my tinnitus, so using soundtracks does not spare me from the inner discipline and skills I outlined above.

      Of course, I do not take pleasure in making this challenge tougher than it is, so I avoid any of my triggers , like loud sounds, fatigue, too much stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, and any food or supplement that is a vasodilator, like dark chocolate, pomegranate, blackberries, Resveratrol, beets, and so on. But well, whatever is there, is there... Meditating in a calm environment with no tinnitus is quite easy. Meditating with T is more difficult, but can end up in a greater ability to stay calm with whatever imperfections and irritating things we have to deal with through our day – in ourselves, in others, and in the world we live in.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Winner Winner x 1
    11. Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Hi Michael,

      I guess that it depends on the individual reaction one has with meditating. It may be more suitable, if you have tinnitus, to meditate in a relatively quiet environment, but where you can still hear some usual background noise. You mention a quiet environment, and I agree that a too quiet setting may represent too much of a challenging contrast.

      Whatever the setting, if meditation brings too much anxiety and too much focus on tinnitus, it may be better to stop for a while, and take the time to find the right inner perspective, and to have appropriate expectations.

      It has to be clear that meditation will not change the tinnitus in itself. But it can help to find, beyond tinnitus, a place of inner silence and peace. For example, focussing attention on the heart region. Being conscious that your tinnitus sound is perceived in your head, you can slowly reach for the silent space of the heart region, away from the tinnitus. One can also visualize breathing in and breathing out through the heart region, to focus more awareness there - and away from the tinnitus. This may sound a bit weird to people not used to various meditation techniques, but it works pretty well for me. This kind of technique can also be used anytime during the day in almost any situation, no need to be alone in a quiet room and sitting in a half-lotus position... just recentering some attention in the heart for a few breaths can have a great calming effect, in particular when we become over conscious of our tinnitus and need to escape the obsessive inner fight with our tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 5
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    12. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Excellent post.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi Quantum,

      You raise some interesting points and thank you for the information. You are quite correct we are all different and I see nothing wrong if one wants to pursue this form of therapy as it might ease their tinnitus. I just wanted to make people aware that it might not suit everyone. My hearing therapist advised against trying it in complete silence and I've read the same in tinnitus books. However, this doesn't mean some people wont find it helpful because its helped you. I found deep relaxation exercises with narration or low level classical music, immensely helpful when I was having a lot of difficulty managing tinnitus.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 3
    14. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      There are studies done that shows mindfulness meditation significantly reduces anxiety caused by tinnitus. I wonder how many Tinnitus Talk members have tried meditation and their lives have changed for the better?
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Like Like x 1
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    15. catchthebus

      catchthebus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      COVID-19 Delta Variant
      Ironically, I initially discovered my tinnitus through meditation though meditation is not what caused it. It was just quiet enough to notice that some not normal sound was in the background, and of course, I was focused in meditation on mindfully listening to what was around me. The meditation had really been helping me too to deal with my long COVID-19 symptoms. It’s unfortunate that I had to make this discovery, but it was bound to happen as the volume of my tinnitus has only increased drastically on its own since then. I’m not sure if meditation can still be useful now because my tinnitus is so loud and I haven’t tried meditation since my tragic initial discovery.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Thank you, Sean!
       
    17. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Jennifer Gans has an online mindfulness course for tinnitus.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    18. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I checked her website. I wonder how many Tinnitus Talk members have taken the course.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Flet
      Alienated

      Flet Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have been curious as being in a quiet room makes the tinnitus seem louder, though I don't think it is in reality.

      I know that @Hazel mentioned in one of the Tinnitus Talk Podcast episodes that she actually used her tinnitus as her focal point, which is really a cool concept because maybe it's possible, over time and practice, that the tinnitus paradoxically becomes a calming point. (I am not quoting her, just my own thoughts on what she said).
       
    20. Rayk

      Rayk Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably loud music through headphones
      It's how Glenn Shweitzer apparently habituated to his tinnitus (see 5 mins in)

      How I Found Relief From Tinnitus


      I believe Dr Bruce Hubbard used this approach also

      Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Tinnitus...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    21. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Point taken.

      But, I think the benefit of meditating; using tinnitus as a focal point, is that it removes the fear of the noise...
      I just got off a zoom meeting with Glenn. I spoke to him last year also during a relapse. He does recommend meditations and relaxation tools to calm down the CNS; which makes sense to me. I have some tracks I will listen to again regularly and hope i can get back to a better place.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    22. BigNick

      BigNick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      When I first got tinnitus in 2018 and was in crisis I forced myself to meditate in silence. I had multiple tinnitus sounds and during the meditation I would often find not just the volume but number of sounds would reduce. Unfortunately, the tinnitus would ramp up again very soon afterwards. I'm aware of some other people that have experienced something similar.

      I was in hell at that time but forced myself to do it, it helped get me through a really dark time. Furthermore, I think if you can get into meditation you might find it will help you sleep.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    23. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      How are things overall for you these days, hopefully you're in a better place?
       
    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Best of luck.
       
    25. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Thanks Michael.
       
    26. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are welcome @DebInAustralia. We are all different and therefore meditation might work for you but my advice is not to do it in complete silence. Tinnitus is mostly mental and for this reason, it's not usually a good idea for the mind to focus too much on the tinnitus, as it can make it louder for some people.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
    27. volsung37

      volsung37 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      I have meditated with tinnitus over several years.

      There are people who meditate in chronic pain and a whole range of other debilitating conditions.

      The secret for me is not to try to hide from it. It is there like everything else is there.

      With meditation we try not to follow our thoughts to let them go.

      That can be difficult. Counting breaths or reciting a mantra can help.

      I believe that meditating WITH tinnitus can lead to an acceptance and hence habituation.

      Habituation then means the tinnitus means less and less to you
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    28. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Hi Michael,

      The tracks I have been instructed to listen to are voice guided meditations with either music, white noise, or white noise embedded into it. So, I won't be meditating in the absolute quiet.

      Having said that, I have been sleeping in the 'quiet' for many years, and never had an issue with getting off to sleep etc. During the first 2 weeks after my onset, I was advised to never sleep in the quiet, but I found it difficult listening to one annoying noise layered over another. So one night, I switched it off and decided to do precisely what you are saying I should not do. Initially, it caused me great panic and feelings of discomfort, then unexpectedly, I noticed my mind wandering and the tinnitus intensity seemed to back off. I know GlennS uses his own tinnitus to meditate with.

      My main issue right now is during the day.

      I just put some background noise on for a few minutes now, and switched it off as it seems to affect my concentration if I am trying to do something on the computer. Even long before the tinnitus, I was like this and found too much sensory stimulation could actually make me feel even worse.
       
    29. BigNick

      BigNick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Things are significantly better now, thanks.

      How are you doing?
       
    30. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @DebInAustralia.

      It takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to get used to using sound enrichment at night. Sound enrichment using a sound machine, helps to prevent the brain from increasing its background activity which will also increase the tinnitus and will make it louder during waking hours. It also treats hyperacusis. A person that has tinnitus and sleeps in a quiet rooms risks this happening. Sound enrichment should be set below the level of the tinnitus. During the day it should be set at a level where it can easily be ignored and only provides background ambiance.

      My post: Sound Machines and Tinnitus, on my started threads explains this in more detail.

      Michael
       
Loading...

Share This Page