Mood and mindset are part of the Tinnitus amplifier.
Tinnitus becomes the punchbag for everything that appears to go wrong or when you have any negative feeling or stress. Awareness and volume are also connected to this.
An example which showed me I had more control than I thought
I was having a stressful time with a client and I was working on their website. Tinnitus was raging and I was finding it so hard to concentrate. The day before I experienced a good day and now I was irritated and feeling really down.
The client then rang and said they needed to see me the next day. I worried about this overnight, sleep was rubbish and I had a long drive in the morning.
On the drive to the client, I was doing 70mph the radio was on and I could still hear the Tinnitus over the engine and radio, I was so stressed. What if the client’s office was really quiet, how would I cope?
When I arrived at the Client office it was a huge design studio, there were just a few tables and all the windows were closed. All the staff were away on a team-building exercise. There was just me and the client in a big silent room.
So what happened?
I was in the meeting for over 2 hours and apart from the few moments when I walked in, I was not aware of Tinnitus for the entire meeting. How could this be?
The meeting went very well, so well I got more money towards the project. I drove the scenic route home feeling great, the radio was not on and I was still not aware of T.
I got home told my wife how well it went and relaxed on the sofa, I was aware of a hiss in my ear but just accepted it and continued to feel excited about how the day had gone.
Was this a coincidence?
No, it was my brain being given something else to concentrate on
Prior to the meeting my actions and thoughts had put Tinnitus centre stage and so my brain turned it up to make sure it did not miss a thing.
As the meeting started I needed to really focus on the project, the client and make sure I was on the ball. With this in front of it, my brain looked at the Tinnitus sound and thought “this serves no purpose” and threw it into the back room.
After the meeting, I am sure my brain went back and had a look at Tinnitus, cross-checked my mood and thought, “nope still not important” plus my awareness was on the success of the meeting and getting more money so I also gave it less focus.
This was a major lesson for me, it showed me that the answer was within me. The words and the map to recovery were on this forum, but the work had to be done by me and this was a sign.
We want so much for out brains to let go of the subject, to see the sound as irrelevant to just get on with our lives and not be thinking about Tinnitus hour after hour so what do we do?
We create a plan – Let’s call it ‘Plan A’
- We research Tinnitus more
- We think/talk about Tinnitus more (usually in our heads – but our thoughts are real!)
- We look for more supplements or Tinnitus cures
- We blame everything that seems wrong with our lives on Tinnitus
- We go online looking for more reassurance and success stories but feel drawn towards negative comments about Tinnitus
- We create a new Tinnitus awareness loop
So rather than moving away from the subject, we are in fact teaching our brains that nothing is more important than this.
Through the lens of 3.5 years, this is very strange behaviour. You hate something so you keep increasing the time and energy you put into the subject?
So what is Plan B
- Basically anything not in Plan A
Like Peace, I thought I was becoming Bi-polar in the early stages. Feeling better one day and then falling into a dark hole the next.
I took a step back and realised my low moods were triggered by an aspect of boredom. When my mind was idling it would drift to Tinnitus and how I thought about it, maybe check out the T forums, see if there are any new posts or replies.
When you feel your mood heading in this direction
Accept you are feeling low, accept you can hear the sound (don’t listen) then….
- Get up
- Do instead of think
- Help someone
- Create something
- Learn something
It is hard in the beginning. Most humans given the choice of doing something or doing nothing will choose to do nothing. For the person in the early stages of Tinnitus, this is a disaster as you will just dwell on the sound.
The more you break the loop the more your brain will strip away the fear and start to let go.
Even baby steps are a step forward, nothing is wasted on the path to habituation.