Reducing Anxiety Is Key

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kah Povi, Sep 6, 2016.

    1. Kah Povi

      Kah Povi Member Benefactor

      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Genetics and stress
      I'll summarize my experience first for those of you who don't know me, doing so with a slightly different spin now that I've been a "student" of tinnitus since March 2015.

      Before that I had T for decades - a mild form I hardly ever noticed except after loud concerts and when I tuned in for some reason. I know I had it because I told people I did, as though saying that I have a scar on my toe. I believe that I had even that low level of T because during adolescence it was clear that I was not safe in my own home. Everyone in my family has some form of tinnitus and everyone in my family is intelligent and anxiety-ridden, slightly traumatized.

      Putting my intelligence toward feeling safe has not worked consistently so far, but I have hope most days.

      In March 2015, trying to staunch an increasing anxiety due to my decision to go off of benzos and do a meditation retreat for a month was a mistake. The people involved in the retreat were not good -- control freaks, cold, judgmental in a very quiet environment - a perfect set up for the tinnitus to come front and center. I heard it clearly for the first time as an enemy. Once I began obsessively listening to it, the looping began - more anxiety, louder T; louder T, more anxiety.

      I have tried many of procedures and process mentioned on this forum. I believe that they only worked as a kind of placebo in that if I relaxed a bit and had hope, the T would go down.

      I have had many days when the T suddenly was quiet and many days when it didn't bother me even when it was loud. In both cases the common element was a reduction in stress and anxiety. I have yet to be able to control the stress and anxiety in a consistent and deep way. But I am on the path. And everyone's path is different.

      T is an alarm going off. It's perfectly sane to freak out when an alarm goes off. So it takes a lot of strength to ignore the alarm, accept it. Whatever helps with that is the path to take.

      For me it's important to do two things -- practical stuff, like not exposing myself to stressors when I don't have to, and dealing with the less day-to-day stuff that I think is at the heart of my alarm system going off: deep fear and regret starting with my family of origin and a tendency to see myself as a victim or potential victim. Buddhism provides a structure for backing off of my victim dramas and seeing that I am just another human being and that human beings with harder challenges than I have are generous, productive and content. My particular path encourages radical acceptance, acceptance of the unacceptable, and T does seem unacceptable to me. Unfortunately, I was conditioned to be wary of anything - distractions, comforts - anything that isn't hyper vigilance. And hyper vigilance is exactly what that noise in my head and my focus on it is all about.

      So basically, I have to turn all that conditioning around and be okay with not being so "intelligent" and "on top of" all the possible dangers in my head. I have to be okay with being a happy "fool" -- maybe the wisest kind of human there is.

      I'd love to hear about how others are relaxing, letting go anxiety.
    2. Sara_Bond

      Sara_Bond Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      @Kah Povi

      Thank you for telling us your story.

      The best way to deal with anxiety is self-acceptance, be surrounded by good persons and do what you like the most.
      Buddhism is good way for self-acceptance and be too intelligent make you fear a lot of things (I know what you talking about). Appreciate life, loved ones and travelling. (The thing I miss the most).

      Take care.
    3. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I agree reducing anxiety is a key in reducing T. Flowing with life without strong resistance to things we can't control will help ease the stress level. Stress and anxiety are toxic to T. So I try to find hobbies to help me relax. Find whatever hobbies or new ones to distract from T and to unwind the nerves. That is something I find very helpful to get back to living life again. Take good care. God bless.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. undecided

      undecided Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have about 0 anxiety. Well, not 0, sometimes I get mildly stressed.
      So no, anxiety is not the key or 'a' key (for some people, I'm sure others' anxiety feeds on tinnitus).
      • Agree Agree x 2

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