Updated: Jul 21, 2020
This article that I wrote was published by The Life Coach Directory. It explains how coaching can help you cope with Tinnitus.
Tinnitus is one of those symptoms that, unless you have it, you can never understand what it is like to hear that constant noise. Or, at least that is what has been said to me before. Imagine you have just watched a movie and a bomb explodes on the screen, and the sound of ringing fills the auditorium’s audio as an example of what the actor hears. That is when I first realised I had Tinnitus. When the ringing in the movie stopped, the ringing in my ears did not. I remember, to begin with, it was like a nightmare, and it took me a long time to find ways to cope with it. With coaching, however, finding ways to cope can be a possibility.
So you have started with Tinnitus, and the ringing, hissing, and humming is increasing your stress and anxiety levels. It is impacting upon your sleep, and never having silence is frustrating, to say the least. One point I would like to make is that, when you first notice Tinnitus, please make sure to visit your GP to ensure there are no underlying health issues causing it. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Tinnitus, but we can, with coaching, find ways to manage it.
So, to begin with, let us start with what I am guessing is a biggie for everyone - getting to sleep. How on earth do you sleep with that constant noise?! Firstly, make sure the room is a good temperature, not too warm and not too cold. Remove any electrical appliances, like televisions, or at least make sure they are unplugged. With Tinnitus, you are more likely to pick up on the static sounds of plugged-in electrical equipment. Then, my advice would be to choose a relaxing audiobook or some ambient sounds like water, wind, or birds. This can act as a distraction for your mind and allow your focus to shift from the ringing to the ambient noise. Now, this will not happen instantly and will take some practice and perseverance. An NLP or hypnosis coach is one way to go to help retrain your mind to become used to the ringing and hence gain some control over it or help you train your mind to focus more quickly on the ambient sounds.
What you realise as you go on is the more you are aware of the tinnitus, the more you focus on it and the louder and more annoying it becomes. This leads us to another point which is stress. For many of us, stress will antagonise and heighten our awareness of Tinnitus, so try to keep calm and live a balanced life. This is not always easy, however, this is again where coaching can help. Life coaching will look at all areas of your life and find potential causes of stress, as well as any life imbalances, and will work with you to create a more even, balanced lifestyle. The stress of work, family, and health are all things that a coach can work with you on and help you figure out how to create the best situation for you. In coaching, we will look to help you remove as many stresses as possible, or find new ways of dealing with situations so that you remain calmer.
Another option, if you have had a stressful day, is to try meditation. With practice, this can be a beneficial tool to have. This is also something you can do in a coaching session, including techniques you can take home with you to implement after the session. Spending 10-20 minutes a day, or perhaps at bedtime, may help slow things down for you and find some inner peace. Give yourself time to unwind and relax, breathe deeply, and with meditation things will begin to slow down which should help with your Tinnitus.
If I was to focus, I could hear my tinnitus all the time, but I have learned through the techniques mentioned above to accept and integrate it as an everyday part of me. Try to also follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, exercise, and cut down on alcohol and caffeine, as these are known stimulants which exacerbate Tinnitus. Coaching will not cure tinnitus, but by working with a coach, it will help you manage it, so it becomes an everyday part of you.
A good website to visit for further help, advice, and support is the British Tinnitus Association - https://www.tinnitus.org.uk