In 2014 I was made redundant. I was absolutely gutted as I loved my job, and the people I worked with. My former employers rang me while I was on holiday to make me redundant (I know!) so what was meant to be a relaxing break quickly turned into an online job search.
In the middle of this frantic googling I started looking at mindfulness courses. I’d always wanted to do one to help with my chronic pain, but the ones near me took place during the day. Maybe now that I wasn’t going to be working for a while this was my chance to attend an 8-week course and see what all the fuss was about?
As luck would have it I was able to join a course that started just before I got home. But I was a bit nervous. My Dad meditated and he’d been trying to get me to do it too. But when he said all I needed to do was sit still for 30 minutes twice a day I’d laughed. I mean, who has that kind of time?!
It turns out Dad’s version of meditation is pretty hardcore. And the mindfulness I learnt was much more user-friendly. Starting to use the techniques I was taught quickly made a difference to my experience of chronic pain. It didn’t get rid of it, but it made it much more bearable, and improved my quality of life as well.
As I learnt and practised my mindfulness techniques I started to wonder whether they could be applied to other long-term conditions, such as my tinnitus. I researched other mindfulness practices on top of the ones I had learnt and tailored them to my experience of tinnitus. And, you know what, they worked. My tinnitus is still there, but I notice it much less. It no longer dictates how I feel and how I live. And, boy oh boy, is that incredibly liberating!
I know from the various tinnitus forums I belong to online that so many people struggle with tinnitus. It affects every aspect of your life and can truly sap your soul. But I also know from personal experience that, thankfully, it doesn’t need to be like that.
That’s why I trained as a certified mindfulness teacher and and provide mindfulness-based tinnitus management via my Bee Empowered course.
I’m not claiming that it’s a cure. Your tinnitus may still be there. But it’s no longer in charge – you are.