Updated: Oct 12, 2020
I was asked some years ago about how to Meditate when tinnitus distracts the mind constantly. Having struggled with tinnitus on and off for years at a time, I knew how frustrating it can become, so naturally it was something I was happy to share my thoughts on.
But tinnitus isn’t the only noisy distraction we can experience when trying to Meditate, there are the endless distractions and sounds from inside and outside wherever you are, but relief comes when these noises become part of your Meditation journey.
This is especially important for those very Auditory or sound sensitive, as learning to accept noise distractions will not only benefit your Meditation practice, but also your general well being.
Auditory people often love music, but find they can only listen to it at certain times or when in the right mood, and can be pretty picky about what they listen to.
And whilst they may find too much noise a distraction, they often use it as an escape to focus on and drown everything else out.
Tone of voice and words used are important to an auditory person and they tend to make references to sounds in their language such as, "How does that sound"? or "I heard it clear as a bell".
Don’t feel you have to live to this label, but simply appreciate it may be part of the way you process the world around you.
But to be clear, you don’t have to be an auditory person to experience tinnitus, and it’s described by the NHS as “sounds like: ringing, buzzing, whooshing, humming, hissing, throbbing, music or singing.
You may hear these sounds in 1 or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time” (nhs.uk, 2018).
So, if you do experience Tinnitus, or find yourself distracted by lots of noise distractions, it’s best to become aware that no where is ever truly silent. I’ve taught classes for many years now, and a wide variety of locations and settings, and I can guarantee that no where is completely silent. There will always be external noises at some point, and there will be internal noises from your body, as well as the usual physical distractions and demands on your time.
The best way to change our experience is by shifting our understanding of the noises around or within us. Lets begin by appreciating that even when sitting still, our body is in constant motion (blood rushing, muscles contracting, your digestive system processing) and will make endless noises and movement.
What if the noises from within, were simply part of the music your body makes when relaxing? The sounds of tinnitus will not be the only sounds, there might be the gurgle of your tummy as your stomach softens, your breath through your nose as you breathe a little deeper, sometimes even the slight click as dry eyes rub against your eyelids, or the steady thud of your heart beating.
When you give yourself permission to notice these things, they are less likely to distract.
When all the things you notice: sounds, sights, smells, thoughts, memories, they become part of your Meditation process, which helps create a wider awareness for yourself and your surroundings.
Because Tinnitus usually becomes worse when we focus on the sounds, we can reduce some of the symptoms when we shift our focus and ask ourselves “what else can I hear?”.
Try giving yourself calming instructions as you begin to settle such as “I can hear whooshing in my ear and still breathe deeply”, “There are sounds around me and within me as I begin to relax”.
Natural sounds are always beneficial and you can find out why in our blog The Natural Healer, and for trying some Meditations at home, I highly recommend trying our free Positive Affirmations Meditation, as it gives more focus to listen to as you Meditate.
Love & Light Jennifer x
nhs.uk. (2018). Tinnitus. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus/ [Accessed 6 Sep. 2019]