It ain’t half hot mum! (if you’re younger than 40 or not in the UK, go google that expression!)
For some of us this spell of warm weather seems to be making our tinnitus experience more intrusive. I’m getting a lot of concerned messages about this. And my response to everyone is the same – don’t worry. Here’s why…
There are two main reasons why our tinnitus might seem louder or annoying at the moment:
1. We’re stressed. Many of us aren’t keen on this kind of heat. We feel tired, grumpy, stressed and too blinkin’ hot. We already know that stress of any kind can change our tinnitus experience for the worse, so if you’re struggling with the heat, your increased tinnitus may simply be a reflection of how you’re feeling.
2. Increased blood circulation. Some of us find that our tinnitus increases when we exercise. One common reason for this, is that our heart is working hard to increase the blood flow around our body, both to help our muscles and also to cool us down.
Our body reacts in a similar way when we’re hot. Blood flow increases to our skin to help us cool down. That’s why we go red (or at least I do!). Our heart beats faster to do this, and in fact circulates twice as much blood around our body in a hot day than a ‘normal’ day.
Do you know what these two reasons have in common? They are temporary. Yes, it’s grim to be living through temperatures that we rarely see (at least here in the UK), but it will get cooler.
How you can improve your tinnitus
At this very moment, and at every moment during this heatwave, you have a choice.
You can feel hot and irritable and complain and sulk. Or you can feel hot and irritable and get on with life the best you can.
Complaining and being irritated with everything and everyone because of a situation you can do very little about is going to achieve two things. It will make you miserable and encourage your tinnitus to spike.
Recognising you feel irritable because of the heat but choosing to accept that you’re going to be hot and irritable for a little while will make you much less miserable and should help your tinnitus to stay more stable.
The key difference between these two approaches is awareness of our thoughts and emotions. Once we become aware of them, we can choose whether we let them dictate how we behave. In this case we can choose whether to spend the next few days in a strop (and with tinnitus to match your mood) or whether to keep your cool (in all senses of the word!).
Want to learn how to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so you can change your behaviour around tinnitus? It’s one of the many strategies and tactics we learn on my tinnitus course. Group courses start in September. 1-2-1 courses start at your convenience.