You may already know that Tinnitus or ‘ringing in the ear’ has many possible causes, such as exposure to loud music or sounds, unwanted side effects to medication, or earwax blockage. For other people, there are no obvious reasons.
Although there are many possible causes, and many different types of sounds actually experienced by the individual with Tinnitus; there is a lesser known commonality. How you react to the Tinnitus can significantly influence your emotional responses, which in turn can lead the brain to interpret the sound as a threat to your wellbeing.
As with any perceived threat, a healthy brain mobilises itself and the body into a fight, flight or freeze state, creating many very real changes in the body and mind. These changes are designed to keep you alive and safe. However if this state is activated when a real threat isn’t present, it can potentially create all sorts of unpleasant feelings such as stress, anger, anxiety and depression. For some individuals, Tinnitus can initiate a cascade of mental events, leading to the activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, which in turn can increase the distress associated with Tinnitus.
It is at this point, individuals living with Tinnitus may decide to explore the benefits of Mindfulness Therapy under the guidance of a trained Psychologist. Mindfulness is currently experiencing a surge in popularity across many health sectors, and research supports the benefits reported.
Simply put, Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, on purpose to the present moment; whilst learning how to respond with non-judgement and acceptance. Although it sounds simple, many people find the idea of acceptance and non-judgment challenging, and really benefit from partnering with a Mindfulness trained Psychologist. With this support, it is possible to learn how to respond to Tinnitus as a neutral and tolerable sound.
If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness for Tinnitus or make an appointment, please contact Natalia.