Mindfulness

Discussion in 'Dr. Jennifer Gans (Psychologist, Mindfulness)' started by Kathi, Apr 19, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Hello Dr. Gans,
      I just read your very interesting article in the ATA's publication "Tinnitus Today." I recently learned of Mindfulness during an anxiety toolkit group that I participated in. I am wondering if MBTSR is basically totally opposite of what we are trying to accomplish by not attending to our tinnitus--to not focus on it. MBTSR asks us to embrace what we're told to distract ourselves from. I've done a few Mindfulness exercises in the group and thinking about putting that kind of focus on my tinnitus causes me anxiety.

      Another thing I wanted to ask about is that the changes to the brain, it seems that the growth of the parts of the brain associated with fear and emotion correlate with the amount of years experience with meditation. Does that mean it will take years to lose the fear and panic reaction to tinnitus?

      Thank you so much for joining and for being here for us. I really appreciate that you and Dr. Nagler take time out of your lives to help us.
       
    2. Dr. Gans

      Dr. Gans Member Clinician

      Location:
      San Francisco. CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Hi Kathi, good to hear from you and your questions are good ones. Many people who discover mindfulness as a way to live with rather than against tinnitus have tried distraction, avoiding, and ignoring tinnitus with some but not great benefit. Mindfulness teaches us to "move into" the tinnitus--and when we do, we realize that in fact it is not something to feel fearful or angry at but it is rather it is one of a million sensations we experience in out bodies at any given moment. When we move into and don't ignore tinnitus we begin to see it for what it really is, an unpleasant sensation, that we don't need to create into a story on how it will be one day in the future or blame ourselves for from the past. If the tinnitus sensation is there, that is what is there, might as well show up, right? When we 'show up' we can then come up with the most creative ways to learn how to live with tinnitus.

      In your second question you may be referring to the research conducted by Sarah Lazar and her colleagues at Harvard. They found with brain imaging just what you said, "growth of the parts of the brain associated with fear and emotion correlate with the amount of years experience with meditation". But it is not saying at all that it will take years to lose fear and panic around tinnitus. That is done on a moment to moment basis--you can start right now! It just means that with more and more practice you will build up "strength", so to speak, so that your ability to approach tinnitus with mindfulness becomes easier and more automatic.

      And thank you for the warm welcome. I am so thrilled to be able to share what I know with people from all over the world.
      Warmly,
      Jennifer
       
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