Tinnitus is that pesky ringing, buzzing, whistling or hissing in your ears with no external sound source. Tinnitus affects more than 45 million Americans, and nearly 20 million from this group experience the bothersome noise on a regular basis.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are certain tools to help you manage it. One of which is meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits of meditation, and relaxation is one of the most well-known. In fact, in the 1970s Dr. Herbert Benson, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, coined the term “relaxation response” after studying participants of transcendental meditation.
There are other benefits of meditation, too. These include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
Many have also reported that meditation can help reduce symptoms of tinnitus.
How Does Meditation Reduce Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused or exacerbated by high blood pressure and poor blood circulation in the inner ears, and meditation can help reduce these symptoms. Perhaps the greater benefit, however, is that meditation reduces the stress caused by tinnitus and helps take focus away from the tinnitus symptoms.
Shari Eberts, a hearing health advocate, shared her own experience with meditation: “During the meditation sessions, the ringing in my ears would subside. Despite the silence of the meditation room, the roar of my tinnitus would fade away. This occurred subtly at first, but by the end of the week, my body seemed to anticipate what was to come. I would assume the meditation posture, begin to mindfully breathe, and the quiet would come, as welcome as a gift.”
“When I returned home, I maintained my meditation practice, and the silence stayed with me. Even my debilitating fluorescent light outbreaks are much fewer and farther between,” she continued.
How to Meditate
Meditation is simple to try, but difficult to master. There are just four simple steps when it comes to meditation:
- Find a comfortable position. You will hold this position for the entire duration of your meditation session.
- Close your eyes. Some people recommend using an eye mask.
- Breathe naturally. Don’t try to control or change your breath.
- Let go of your thoughts. Try to clear your mind. This is the most difficult step. If you have trouble thinking about nothing, focus only on your breath and how it moves through your body. If you experience negative thoughts or emotions, acknowledge them and let them go.
There are guided meditation videos available online and through apps that you can try. For more information about tinnitus management strategies, call Sharp Hearing today!