The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make With Tinnitus (Sound Therapy & How To Help Tinnitus)

– So you've been spending some
time on my YouTube channel learning about tinnitus, maybe you've looked at
other resources as well. You've gotten some pretty clear guidance on what you should be
doing, but for some reason the results don't seem to match that. In this video, I wanted to
create five simple reminders about things that you might be forgetting about getting better with tinnitus. This is Pure Tinnitus. (upbeat music) Everyone, this is Dr. Ben Thompson, founder of Pure Tinnitus. If you're new here, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. And if you've been here
for a while following me, give this video a thumbs up so YouTube can recommend
it to other people. In this video we will be
covering the five things that I see many of my clients forgetting about getting better with tinnitus. And sometimes they learn
this at the beginning, but there's this gap where
it's hard to integrate it into their everyday life. Number one is a comprehensive
sound therapy plan to soothe the auditory system. I often see clients who have a hard time focusing in quiet places
like in an office setting or in their home when
they're working from home.

And the reason is because
there's no external noise to make the tinnitus less of an issue. Therefore using sound
therapy really helps them. And there's two main
areas to use sound therapy during the day, during the
waking hours of your day, and at night when you're
trying to fall asleep. So having that comprehensive
sound therapy plan is going to be key for a few reasons. First, it makes your tinnitus
softer when you're listening to other sounds. And we know this when
you're outside around nature that has some noise to it,
the tinnitus isn't an issue, when you're talking with friends
or listening to a podcast, your tinnitus is not so much of an issue, just when you're, it's mainly when you're
in those very quiet places and you're trying to focus on something that the loudness of the ringing, the loudness of the tinnitus
really distracts you from staying focused.

Of course, that can lead to
negative effects of anxiety and stress and poor sleep. So how do we try to reduce
that on the front end? Having a sound therapy plan is a great way to reduce the tinnitus
volume when you're listening to sound therapy and to
soothe your auditory system. In tinnitus retraining therapy, as you've probably learned
about, tinnitus retrain therapy is a major protocol
used for tinnitus help. And there's something
called the mixing point. So if you're new here, the mixing point means that you have the
loudness of your tinnitus, and then you also have the sound therapy you're going to use. So the sound therapy is
going to come very close to the tinnitus, but
not completely mask it, that's called the mixing point. Now you have to figure out
what kind of sound do you use? What kind of sound therapy is out there that's going to help you? I found over the time that
a lot of people prefer high pitch sound therapy
that is a similar cadence, a similar quality to their tinnitus.

So that might be the sound of crickets, sound of water running. The way to actually use the sound therapy are through hearing
devices that go in your ear or on top of your ear. Sometimes people use
bone conduction headsets. Additionally, you can use
sound from your phone, a speaker in your room, a fan, classical music in the background. So finding a good sound therapy
plan is going to be key. The second aspect of
getting better with tinnitus that most people forget to keep practicing is releasing from that
fight-or-flight response. This is something that comes from the psychological
understanding of tinnitus and how those networks,
which get activated through the fight-or-flight response, they make the tinnitus louder. Anyone who's experienced
this knows this can be true. I had a patient who's recently
contacted me and said, "I'm stuck in a state of fear. "I'm scared, I don't know
what's going to happen.

"I don't know if this tinnitus
is going to get a lot worse. "I don't really know what I can do." And they're stuck in that fear and they were able to
verbalize it, which is great. So my understanding of the neuroscience, the brain science here is that being stuck in the fight-or-flight state of fear means that it's going to be hard for your body and your mind to
let go and ease the tinnitus.

It can happen. If you go from tinnitus
not being a problem, to a period of high intense
stress, anxiety, fear, with loud tinnitus, it is possible. It is likely that managing the fear, managing the fight-or-flight
response, and the anxiety, that will have a positive
effect on the tinnitus over a matter of months. I've seen this, that's what
I hope happens for you. So I wanted to list this as
the second important thing that you can't forget, is that
the fight-or-flight response happens throughout our day naturally. So we want to stay in the
parasympathetic nervous system which is the healthy, relaxed,
grounded centered part of our body and mind for
as many hours of the day as possible. Some common examples of activating the fight-or-flight response purposefully would be watching action
movies, watching the news, or having conversations with
people that really trigger you and bring you into an anxious state.

Any of those kinds of feelings
are going to put your body, you can feel it in your
shoulders, in your upper body, even tightness in your jaw or your head that is in the fight-or-flight state. So make sure that we try to
stay out of the fight-or-flight as much as possible,
that's where psychology, that's where stress reduction
can really come into play and work wonders for you. So we have three more things
that I want to make sure you don't forget when
you're trying to get better with your tinnitus, so let's
cover number three next. The third important factor
here is to calm stress and anxiety.

A lot easier said than
done, but this is often the biggest opening for
you to actually get better and feel real progress with your tinnitus. When I say we'll progress,
I mean the volume, the intensity of your tinnitus can shift, it can ease itself over
time, but oftentimes, first, the key to do
that is to better manage stress and anxiety. Now, there are practices
you can do on your own, and there's help you can
get from professionals or support groups or communities. So let's start with what
you can do on your own.

The easiest things are going
to be learning a new skill and practicing consistently,
nearly every day. Try it a little bit in the morning and in the evening as well. This will help your
stress, anxiety, sleep, and your tinnitus in effect. So for managing stress,
think about what you do in an average day. And what choice, what domain
of control do you have about certain situations
or certain people, certain conversations
that might be causing you a high amount of stress.

Think about anxiety. Think about what it is
that you're anxious about. Is it about your tinnitus? Is it about something else? Because if you're anxious,
if you have questions, if you're worried about your tinnitus, then talk to someone who can
help answer those questions to ease your concerns. And I advise talking to
someone who is knowledgeable. Talking to someone, myself,
another specialist, a therapist, someone who runs a support group with the American Tinnitus Association. Talk to them, try not to just
message some random person off of a Facebook group or a Reddit chat because they have a similar
case as your tinnitus.

They might be also stuck in the negativity and in the symptoms and anxiety, and they also might be
trying to figure out how to get out of it. Consider starting meditation practice, where you can do that for
through peer tinnitus. Consider starting yoga or Tai
chi, or guided body scans, or walking meditation. You can use videos, audio from
this channel, or my podcast or you can find other
sorts of calming, gentle, guided meditations. Put them in your ears
so you have that noise, and then try to go walking outside, try to do some light
exercises or stretching. When you're doing that,
you are helping any stress or anxiety that's in your
mind and in your body. Sometimes you have to do
trial and error to figure out how to manage stress and anxiety.

But if you can, and I
believe most people can, if you can figure out what
are your anxiety triggers, what is causing stress in your life, slowly work that out, then
that's usually the turning point for when tinnitus starts to get better. That's what I've seen. I have anxiety myself at times and I know it's easier said
than done to snap out of it. But there are systems that work, there are people that can help you. The fourth aspect here that I want to make sure you remember, because a lot of people
forget it, is to let go and work on negative thinking patterns, and how that can make
your tinnitus much worse than it has be. Cognitive behavioral therapy often cited as the number
one tinnitus therapy approach uses ways to deconstruct
negative thinking processes and have that actually improve
your life with tinnitus. Now, why would cognitive
behavioral therapy be consistently rated as an
effective therapy solution for tinnitus? In less, it really got into
these negative thinking patterns and deconstructing them Let's talk about a common situation.

Someone considers their
tinnitus to be the devil or to be evil, or the worst thing that's
ever happened to them, and the reason why their life
has gotten so much worse. And I'm not here to
re-traumatize anyone with this, but I'm citing some common examples. Cognitive behavioral technique. A cognitive behavioral approach to this would say, "Let's look at
that, let's unpack that. "Is the tinnitus the truly the
reason why your life at times "may feel hopeless or
empty or dark and sad?" Let's really unpack that and figure out how much control it has? What is our future outlook? And how the negative
thinking that sometimes comes throughout your day or
your week with tinnitus have that negative thinking.

You do not have to latch onto
it as much as you may be. There may be more opportunity
for you to use your breathing to take slow inhales and
exhales, to have some techniques to use your breath and
allow these thoughts which might be negative
to come and pass through. Potentially write them down
on a notebook or a notepad so you can get them out of your head and start focusing on what's around you. So that's an example of
negative thinking patterns can make the tinnitus suffering worse than it has to be. This is a sensitive topic because sometimes we don't
realize our thinking patterns until we work with a therapist
or a coach, or we journal or we have a support group
where we can truly explain what's going on, and we
realize what's happening inside of our own minds.

It's a lot of psychology,
it's a lot about the brain, but this is an important thing
that a lot of people forget. And I want to make sure you, being a part of this audience
here with pure tinnitus on my YouTube channel, remember this. All right guys, we're almost done. This is number five, this
is the last one here. So it makes sure to get
the whole piece of this. Number five. What I want to make sure you remember for getting better with tinnitus is to have some daily practices that can shift your
attention away from tinnitus, and start focusing again
on what's more important in your life. Daily practices, what is
this going to mean for you? Well, for most people who
are successfully managing stress and anxiety that the world brings, that their own mind brings, that any health symptom
like tinnitus or pain brings to them, daily practices
are ways to put energy into your bank, into your reserve, so that when times are tough,
the withdrawal of that energy does not completely deplete
you of your resources.

So personally, I practice
meditation in the morning. Some other people with
tinnitus have a hard time sitting in quiet and
practicing meditation. So they're going to figure
out some daily habits, daily practices and exercises
that make them feel good, that fill them up with
energy and joy and calm, and that is going to really
help manage the tinnitus. So let's start with the morning. In the morning you have an
opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your day. So consider waking up a little earlier and try some guided breathing,
some movement of your body, going on a walk, doing some exercise, and drinking lots of
water to start your day. Also have these grounding
mind body practices that we mentioned earlier,
yoga, meditation, Tai chi, something that you can consistently do so you know this is contributing
to yourself getting better.

And even if your tinnitus
doesn't really change, you know that you're feeling healthier, you're feeling better. And trust me, this is an
important aspect of getting better because in the short term you don't have direct control
over the tinnitus volume, but you can control your
daily habits, your practices, things that ground and
calm your nervous system and your mind, and that
allows the tinnitus to become less and less
and less of a problem. In the evenings, you
also have an opportunity for daily practices. In the evenings you may choose
to, again, try meditation or laying down stretching,
taking a warm bath or a warm shower, reading a
book instead of watching TV, using sound therapy, listening
to your favorite music, or watching a nice
relaxing kind of television or movie program.

Those are examples of things
you can do in the evenings that set yourself up for good sleep so that your nervous system is at ease, and then day by day, things get better. I hope you enjoyed watching this video. If you're not already,
make sure you're subscribe to my YouTube channel here. If you want to find me to work with me, you can go to puretinnitus.com. Leave a comment here about which of these five important tips do you think are worth trying, are worth taking that extra step? Thanks for being part of this community. And I'll see you guys on this next video. (bright upbeat music).

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