Let's move on to some hard core coping techniques that get a lot of
mileage. So far we've looked at "easy" suggestions now let's move on to
some hard core coping techniques. Not any harder really, they just take a
bit more explaining.
The 3 & 5 technique: sure-fire
Proper relaxation is amazingly simple yet
hugely effective. Your brain can be in only one of two states: anxious or
relaxed so if you know how to relax properly then you don't have to be so
uptight about everything including tinnitus. Keep in mind that, this
technique only works for humans:
1) Sit down somewhere nice and
comfy and take a nice deep breath and breath out again. Naw, don't
complicate things, it doesn't have to be through your nose.
at a pace that's comfortable for you, breath in while counting to
3) and breath out while counting to five
Again, do it at a
pace that's comfortable for you. The counting doesn't have to be
mathematically perfect, just nicely paced and keep repeating steps 1 and 2
until, well, you decide for how long. The point is to breath out longer
than to breath in and in a short while you'll find yourself relaxing. You
then can reduce your breath-in count, increase your breath-out count and
you'll relax even more.
What's the big deal about relaxing this way
instead of just flaking out on the couch? Your muscles relax. When your
muscles relax it forces your body to relax. When your body is relaxed your
brain has no choice but to also relax. This, I've been told, is an honest
to goodness medical thing actually. When your brain is relaxed you ease up
on your thinking and the whole world, including your tinnitus, becomes a
lot easier to handle. This scheme is also the raw mechanics of things like
hypnosis, meditation etc. but, of course, it don't cost you $100 an hour
when it's packaged up with some far out new wave name. You can practice
this anywhere, anytime - while stopped at a red traffic light, while in
the washroom, during commercials on TV, whatever. Watch out for the side
effects though: it tends to lower the blood pressure of some people with
hyper tension and it has many people drift off in a wonderful sleep. Of
course you wouldn't want to do this while driving a car or whatever...
You can use these on the cheap: a portable stereo radio with
ear buds - tune the radio to an empty, in between stations, spot on
the FM dial so all you can hear is a static hissing sound. You don't
want the volume to be louder than your tinnitus to mask your T sound(s).
Instead, you turn the volume up until it matches the volume of your
tinnitus and both volumes "mix." To some people this hissing is more
annoying than their own tinnitus sound but for many it is a welcome experience.
Over time your brain gets used to hearing these external sounds and
figures that if something else is doing a great job of making these sounds
then why should I even bother. This is the approach used in both
Residual Inhibition and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and has proven quite effective for
many although it takes time.