tin-ni-tus ringing or buzzing in the ears. My definition is tin-ni-tus an annoying constant sound that changes periodically, but never gives you a true break…and DO NOT even think about having a piece of chocolate or a drink because it does not like you when you feed it junk. Yes, that sounds about right (pun intended). However, it is not all doom and gloom, as I once thought. It can get better! I understand that there are severe cases, and I am not trying to discount those unique situations. What follows is my understanding and experience with this ailment.
What the hell is that noise in my ears…is it the refrigerator? I must have looked really stupid going around the house, hand on one ear, then the next…going up to the refrigerator, putting my ear up to it. I started to panic. What is this? Is it ever going to go away? Where is the silence that I have enjoyed for so many years? Why is this happening? I know my ear is messed up, it has always been, ever since I was a child. I had recurrent ear infections, my ear drum ruptured twice, and I have a tube in it. Was it because of these occurrences or was it the IV infusion of NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) that my whacky nutritionist “highly” recommended? It could have been the Xanax that I was given a few months prior….Xanax withdrawal can cause tinnitus.
Many factors can cause tinnitus, even ear wax, so I highly recommend seeing an ENT as soon as symptoms arise. Whatever it was in my case, I wanted answers RIGHT THEN and THERE! I searched frantically on the tinnitus message boards, which made things 100 times worse. I felt panic rush over my body. I could not control my emotions because I felt out of control. How was I going to control this? I do not like being out of control. The more I panicked, the louder the ringing grew. I put on a set of headphones, listened to music and fell asleep. Is this my life for the next 40 or so years?
Actually, yes and no. It has only been about 4 years, and if I listen to it, it is still there.
Does it bother me? Sometimes, but rarely. The tinnitus alumni from the message boards all said not to worry, that someday you will get accustomed to it. I didn’t believe it back then, because I had zero rational thoughts, especially in a heightened frantic state. Today, I know it to be true. I have had several periods where the ringing was so minimal that I forgot I even had it. Other times, I eat something that I shouldn’t and it ramps up a decibel, but it still doesn’t bother me. One time, it turned psychotic on me (it was my bad, I thought I could get Botox without it affecting me), but my tinnitus turned pulsatile on me. Now, that was BAD! I still get the pulsatile once in a while, but it doesn’t phase me because I don’t LET IT phase me. I know with proper care, it will go away.
If we focus on the negative, then the negative will focus back. As noted by Walter Chen, blog.bufferapp.com, “The unfortunate superpower of the negative is that is has a stronger impact than the positive.” He writes that our brains have a negative bias. The reason is because our brains are wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. He claims, “It’s a self-protective characteristic. We are scanning for threats from when we used to be hunter and gatherers.” The downfall happens when we are in constant negative thought, which leads our brains to develop a default negative looping pattern.
Trust me, I’m a pro at negative thought patterns. I think anxious people are just wired a certain way, however, it does not mean that we cannot change the wiring. I have used several tools to help my brain stay away from that LOOP…reminds me of the movie European Vacation…look kids, big Ben, Parliament. Clark just could not get out of the LOOP. I love that movie! Ok, I digress. Here are my top 5 tools that help me get out of negative thinking and ultimately help me deal with my tinnitus:
1.NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTS
I do believe that what we eat makes a difference not only with the tinnitus, but that nasty negative loop in our minds. Sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods…some culprits that may not be good for your gut. 90% of your serotonin lies in your gut. It is extremely important to maintain a good diet for a healthy mind. Optimal nutrition may also help calm the tinnitus, it does in my case!
I have used a variety of supplements over the years. It is best to consult with your practitioner or nutritionist, as I am not a licensed medical professional. Some that have helped ME are: Bioflavanoid, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, B-Complex, Vitamin C and Intravenous glutathione (the glutathione really helps my pulsatile tinnitus, in fact, I think this is what eradicates it when it decides to rear it’s ugly head). Stay tuned for my recommended brand list!
Sitting with your thoughts can be difficult, especially if they are negative. However, do not give those thoughts any power. Acknowledge them, but then let them fly away. Sitting in meditation for at least a few minutes a day will help train your brain to stay away from the negative loop patterns. Meditation also helps distract my thoughts about tinnitus or anything else going on in my body, making more room for positive and mindful thinking.
Sometimes I will simply say “I am ok. I am safe.” This helps keep me on track when I feel the negative take over. It stops your brain in its tracks and forces it to change course. I also write my feelings or my affirmations in a journal when I am overwhelmed, which helps me get my thoughts out of my head.
I talk a lot about Reiki because it has changed my life. Reiki helps keep me calm and balance my chakras. One of the symbols in the Usui tradition helps balance the left and right brain hemisphere, and it can free blocked feelings and calm emotional distress. I highly recommend getting certified in Reiki or looking for a trained practitioner that you trust.
I have found that many people who are deep into spirituality experience ringing in their ears. They are experiencing an ascension process where they are becoming more sensitive to higher frequencies. In my situation, my ears were ringing before I started to become more spiritual. Regardless, grounding or earthing, as some call it, has provided relief for those suffering from tinnitus. I ground myself by putting my feet in the grass, sand or dirt. I picture roots growing out of the bottom of my feet, entering deep into mother earth. It’s kind of weird, but I also imagine cement blocks holding my feet in the ground…I want to make sure I stay put!
If you are a tinnitus newbie, please trust me when I say you got this. IT CAN GET BETTER! You are not alone! Millions of Americans suffer from this ailment. In order to be able to control it and deal with it, you must maintain a healthy mind and body! Let me know how I can support you or if you have any questions.