Meditation: calming down the tinnitus or simply finding the calmness within!
We are in mid-April 2020, a few weeks after the beginning of the general confinement which allows us all, collectively, to manage the progression of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Given the speed with which our daily lives have changed in addition to the isolation or rather the social distancing that we must respect, this new reality can make us experience many emotions, including, among others, an increased level of stress and/or anxiety.
Among people who hear tinnitus, one of the effects of higher levels of stress or anxiety is often to increase the loudness of this tinnitus.
There are several approaches you can take to reduce your stress or anxiety levels. One of these approaches is to practice meditation.
Personally, I have been practicing meditation for several years and it has always allowed me to connect with a space of calm within myself. The presence of a tinnitus may seem a contra indication to meditation but one can meditate by listening to music or the sound of nature and at that time, the tinnitus can be subdued.
A meditation can be as brief as 3 minutes or as long as 30 minutes or more. It all depends on the time you have to devote to it.
Today, I am sharing with you the basic principles for meditation which were taught by Edgar Cayce (https://www.edgarcayce.org/)
Preparation: no, you do not have to take the typical cross-legged seated yogi position while meditating. Sitting on a chair is fine: the only rule which is highly recommended to respect here is to keep your spine straight.
Then your hands could rest on your thighs if you do not have any armrest.
You may also choose to lie down in order to meditate: as long as your spine is straight it is all right.
Head and neck exercises (if there are no contra-indications), to be completed eyes opened or closed:
- Drop your head forward slowly, don’t force anything, then bring it back to an upright position. 3 times.
- Then let your head drop back slowly and bring it to the upright position again. Don’t force it. If you find you cannot do that comfortably, just raise your chin as much as you can. 3 times.
- The same movement, towards the right shoulder, 3 times, and then towards the left shoulder 3 times.
- Finally, let your head drop forward, and circle the head in a complete circle, in a clockwise direction 3 times and then 3 times the other way.
Alternate Breathing exercise
- Close your left nostril with your ring finger (index and middle finger lie on the nose) and breathe in slowly and deeply through the right nostril. Hold the breath for a brief moment and then exhale through the mouth. 3 times
- Then close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Hold the breath shortly and then exhale through the right nostril. 3 times.
- Respect your own rhythm.
Breath naturally: inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, at your own rhythm.
Keep up with the natural, calm breathing, observing your breath, eyes closed.
You may choose to listen to some music or to some nature’s sounds as you are meditating. If you do choose to listen to music, try to find pieces where more than one type of instrument is being used. Many artists have produced beautiful pieces which help to get into a meditative state (to name only a few: Alana Fairchild, Tom Kenyon, Karunesh, Robert Haig Coxon, Deva Premal…).
While you are breathing, it is also the time during which you can choose a theme, a thought, a citation, a picture, a word on which you can focus your attention during the meditation.
For example: “ joy, harmony, a phrase from a poem, the picture of a calm ocean, of a flower…”
As we are focusing on our own breathing and on the image or word of our choice, we create our own soothing bubble, our own calm space, for a few minutes.
Ideally, we connect to it with a sense of calm, and possibly this can result in a decrease in the intensity of the tinnitus.
This is an opportunity to take a moment for ourselves, in our busy days, even in times of confinement!
To get out of the meditation? Open your eyes and reconnect with the present moment…!
Hopefully you will find it fun to try it and it will be part of your toolbox to better manage your tinnitus,
Sylvie Auger M.O.A.