by Glenn Schweitzer for Healthy Hearing
May 8, 2018 - Living with tinnitus is rarely easy, especially when it’s accompanied by hearing loss.
But it’s not just the sound that drives you crazy. It’s everything else, too. The conflicting reports, confusion and misinformation are enough to make you miserable, while the resulting stress, anxiety and frustration can cripple your quality of life.
Despite simple appearances, tinnitus is actually an incredibly complicated health problem. There is currently no cure, little public awareness and few effective treatment options for the hundreds of millions of sufferers around the world.
And yet there is hope. It is entirely possible to find lasting relief from tinnitus.
You can habituate to the sound, get to a place where it stops bothering you and radically improve your quality of life. You can also get better at coping with tinnitus during difficult moments by building better defenses and learning new techniques to fight back against the frustration, anxiety, and depression that so many of us experience.
There are many lifestyle changes that can improve quality of life with tinnitus.
Unfortunately, many of the healthy habits that enable us to habituate, find relief or cope with a challenging moment are exceedingly difficult to actually put into practice, especially early on – and especially in cases of extremely bothersome tinnitus.
Most people experience an internal resistance when trying to make these healthy lifestyle changes.
To put it simply, it’s difficult to begin difficult work.
This lack of momentum will rob you of your motivation. It also doesn’t help that many effective tinnitus treatments and habituation strategies do not yield immediate results.
Getting new healthy habits to stick - habits that are beneficial for tinnitus like tinnitus meditation, mindfulness, sound masking, relaxation routines and exercise require hard work, discipline and willpower.
Then again, healthy habits are hard to adopt even when you don't have tinnitus.
Luckily, there’s a better way forward. Today, I offer you a new technique and a free tool to help you implement the lifestyle changes and habits necessary to find lasting relief from tinnitus.
It might seem obvious, but it’s a lot easier to be consistent with healthy habits when you practice them every day. They just become a part of your daily routine.
The hardest part is building that initial momentum, especially with tinnitus grinding you down and destroying your quality of life. But you can trick yourself into adopting the healthy habits that improve tinnitus with a productivity technique popularized by Jerry Seinfeld called “Don’t Break the Chain.”
All you have to do is write down the changes you want to make, or the healthy habits you want to adopt, and cross out each day that you complete your goals on a blank calendar.
This offers you a clear visual of your progress, which ultimately will keep you motivated and moving forward. The idea is to get as many days in a row as possible, and as you see the days add up, you will feel motivated to not break the chain by missing a day.
Seinfeld uses this technique to make sure he writes jokes every single day, but it can be applied to any goal. It’s an incredibly simple way to improve your motivation, momentum and your ability to commit to a daily practice.
To help you get started, I’ve created a free “Don’t Break the Chain” PDF Tool, designed with tinnitus patients in mind, that you can print out and use every day to start building the habits that will improve your health.
I’ve recently had to make a lot of really difficult lifestyle changes myself.
After a challenging couple of months, my health was slowly falling apart. My stress levels went through the roof, I wasn’t sleeping, my tinnitus and Meniere’s symptoms were the worst they’ve been in years, and all this at a time when my wife and I have a baby on the way.
Most of my problems were the result of a terrible work/life balance. My productivity was through the roof, but it was at the expense of literally everything else.
I stopped exercising, meditating, reading and eating healthy. Really, all of the things I do on a regular basis to maintain my health and keep my anxiety in check fell to the wayside. I had to get my stress levels under control.
So, I challenged myself to get back to my healthy habits and routines.
My biggest challenge was consistency. I would meditate every once in a while and exercise occasionally, but not nearly enough to make a difference. I needed a more disciplined approach, and “Don’t Break the Chain” was going to help me achieve my goals.
For the month of February, I challenged myself to do three things, every single day:
I knew these three things wouldn’t fix everything, but it would help me reduce my stress levels enough to make a meaningful difference in my health. And while I wasn't perfect, it got me back on track. My stress levels are far more manageable now. And, I’ve slowly added more healthy habits back to my daily routine.
Since February, I’ve completely eliminated sugar from my diet, finished reading several books, continued meditating every single day, and I put a lot more energy into reducing stress on a daily basis.
What tinnitus-beneficial healthy habits or lifestyle changes would you like to add to your daily routine? My free “Don’t Break the Chain” PDF calendar tool will help you build the motivation and momentum necessary to succeed!
To help you get started, here are a few lifestyle changes that work well with this tool and can help you to improve your tinnitus:
Try it today!
Tinnitus can occur on its own, but more commonly, it accompanies hearing loss. If you have tinnitus and have not had your hearing tested, don't delay. Simply wearing properly fitted hearing aids provides some relief for a good number of tinnitus sufferers. Start by making an appointment today.
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