Updated: Aug 18, 2020
The British Tinnitus Association has done research to show that mindfulness can reduce distress caused by the condition. The essence of mindfulness is to stop struggling with thoughts, experiences and emotions – and just accept them instead. This sounds trite if you are suffering with a chronic and life-affecting problem, but the premise is really to accept what is happening at that present moment, not necessarily a life situation. The more we struggle with something, the more we tense up and can exacerbate a symptom. So, as we try to push something away, it just seems to gain more energy and come back at us even stronger – which also leads to making that problem very central to our experience. If you have a condition or symptom, it can be possible using mindfulness to calmly explore it, say during a quiet meditation, with an open and welcoming mind. Most often we find that the anxiety surrounding the problem starts to gently quieten, and even the primary condition itself becomes less intrusive – which also goes for tinnitus, making it fade a little into the background. Try this short meditation of only 5 minutes using two techniques – one is to focus on other ‘present’ senses, and then if it’s OK with you, turn your attention to focus on sounds. Apply mindfulness by opening yourself up to the present experience with an intention to have an experience, without pre-judgement, and then reflect on it.