Meditation, Mindfulness, and Ringing In The Ears
Meditation and ear ringing seem to be opposing forces. When you meditate, you sit down in a quiet room and focus on your breathing. But what if all you hear in the dark silence is ringing in your ears?
Well, this is actually a crucial element in meditating to get rid of ringing ears.
Mindfulness in meditation is focusing on the current moment. Noticing the sensations of the body, the visuals, the sounds, the smells, and the tastes. Being present in the moment is significant when it comes to battling negative emotions and thoughts, such as those related to tinnitus.
Your current moment may very well include ear ringing. If this is the case, then instead of masking it or pushing it into the sidelines, your meditation would involve coming to terms with your own sensations. If you face your own sensations about tinnitus, then you can accept it, and finally deal with your anxieties related to it.
Imagine you are a 4-year-old child, first learning to ride a bicycle. You have your helmet on, you grasp the handlebars tightly, but you feel fear – the rapid breaths, the tingling of nerves in the pit of your stomach. Finally, either by your own choice, or by the diligence of the adult teaching you, you face your fears and try it. After that initial fearful experience, you are flying through the streets, joyously cruising your neighborhood.
I see curing the ringing your ears in the same light. You may be nervous facing those constant sounds in the initial silence of beginning meditation. But you are strong enough to do it. You are nervous at first but then you charge ahead. Your ringing sounds may be amplified at first. By facing those fears and turning yourself towards the ringing in your ears, you begin the process of acceptance. The fear fades because once you do it, it becomes easier and easier each time. Soon, you will flying through the world barely noticing the noises in your ears.
So part one in curing ringing ears is facing your own sounds…and accepting them.
The second part of coming to terms with tinnitus is understanding your own emotions to those ringing sounds. Negative thoughts and emotions lead to the isolation, stress, anxiety, and depression many sufferers feel. You may not be able to change your ringing ears right away, but you have the power to change your response to the ringing sounds. You can stop those negative emotions in their tracks and convert them into positive feelings. You can go from – I can’t take it any longer, I hate my life….to I can deal with you, you won’t bring me down.
Not only will you feel more positive, but you will feel that you are the one in control. The tinnitus will not rule your life, you are the one in control of your life.
Meditation and mindfulness can not only help with building a stronger you and battling your ear ringing, but research has shown that they help individuals with chronic pain, psychological problems, anxiety, and depression.
Without further ado, here are some instructions so you can try meditation at home to cure ringing ears…
1) Find a quiet, comfortable place. Prop up some pillows. You may want a dimly lit space or wait until it gets dark. Sit cross legged or in lotus position. Most importantly, sit how you feel the most comfortable and relaxed. Place your arms out to your sides, palms up, thumb touching your pointer finger. You can also place your hands on your knees.
2) Turn on some instrumental music that soothes you. You really want the music to be calm and steady without big jumps. Turn the volume low so that you hear it but barely. Some people suggest not using any music during meditation. I suggest that beginners use music and eventually transition to the silence.
3) Start taking deep breaths. Make these breaths long and powerful. Feel your diaphragm contracting as your lungs fill up. Feel the breath as it exits your body slowly. Breath in and out through your nose.
4) Once you find a rhythm to your deep breaths, start to count. Say the number in your mind, see the number, and take a breath. Continue counting with breaths as you move to the next number. Pay attention to your breathing and your counting, and only that.
5) Initially, you will feel the urge to think other thoughts. To think about your discomfort, or your body, or even the list of errands you have waiting for you. When you have those thoughts, acknowledge them, don’t reprimand yourself for having them – this is normal. But move on from these thoughts back to your breathing as quickly as possible.
6) When your mind wanders to the ringing in your ears, listen carefully. Face your inner sounds, and accept them as any other sound – the sound of your breathing, the sound of your swallow, the sound of the air whirring out of your nose. Face your ear ringing directly. Try to listen closely and understand the specifics of your own sounds.
7) If you feel negative emotions or thoughts about how devastating the sounds are, change those thoughts. Accept the negative thought or feeling, then change it to positive. Yes, I do feel anxious when the sounds seem to get louder in my ears. Accept that thought. Then change it to something positive. They may persist in my ears but they will not bother me.
8) Move through these thoughts and emotions as quickly as you can. Process them, change them. Then, bring your mind back to your breathing. After all, meditation is quieting your mind, blocking out the thoughts so your mind can relax and focus on the present moment.
Good luck with these techniques. Leave a comment if meditation has worked for you!