Tinnitus and Hobbies
In mymind there is always a pre and a post tinnitus time. Do you have that too?
So I tell people before tinnitus I was like this and I used to do that – but now I have tinnitus and since the day it started, my life changed.
Why did it change my life?
I thought I had to change my life. I told myself that I had to change my life. And in a way I had to do that. In a way I had to put down some habits and behaviors.
Of course I had to make sure to always protect my ears, to not eat things that are not good for me. To stop doing things that made me feel worse and to do things that made me feel better!
Once I had tinnitus, I went out less as it didn´t feel good. I wanted to protect my ears and not being able to follow conversation just added up to the feeling of not wanting to go out anymore. I eat less salt, sugar, gluten . . .
And as I started to mask my tinnitus I read less and did less of everything that I had ever liked. As I was busy feeling sorry for myself and masking my tinnitus. Sometimes I would read, draw or write….but then put it down after a short little while as I felt too distracted by my tinnitus.
But as we learned before, where our attention goes that is where our focus goes. So of course if we are focusing on our tinnitus – that is what will be in the center of our attention.
Read more about it here: https://thetinnituslife.com/2018/10/13/does-the-severeness-of-our-tinnitus-depend-on-our-emotions/
But itdoesn´t have to be that way! Not at all!
Shift your focus and you won´t have to put down your hobbies! Tinnitus doesn´t mean that your life is over, you might have to change your life a little but you don´t have to become a totally different person.
We don´t like the same things for a lifetime, so it might be a normal change that we don´t want to follow same hobby anymore. Even though, I ask you to look back to those things you said you loved to do before your tinnitus, but you don´t do anymore due to your condition.
Make a list of every activity you loved and write next to each activity what you could do to adjust that activity to make it more enjoyable again. Like I love going to concerts – I can adjust that by using high-quality ear plugs.
Then think about when you have done those activities the last time? Some of the things on my list I haven´t done in a long time!
So why not give it a try?
I basically stopped reading when my tinnitus got louder, a while ago I picked it up again.
It depends on the day and how good I´m able to shift my focus from my tinnitus away. Often it is just in my head, when I think that I can´t read because the tinnitus will be too loud and I won´t be able to focus. That is then how I feel, but when I manage to start reading without worrying about it beforehand, it usually works out great.
I even manage to read without have background noise or music on. So it really is possible.
It is not like that I wrote my list and then just picked up my old hobbies right away, not I´m taking it step by step.
Just like when you start to run, you start with short intervals and then built it up from there. That is what I did too. I started by reading short periods of time and then built the time up.
Also, when I realize that today isn´t a good day…then I just leave it without getting mad or frustrated. Then I just look for something else to do.
I learned pushing it doesn´t help, because once I start focusing on how hard it is to do that, how hard it is to not hear my tinnitus then it gets almost impossible to focus again on what I was doing.
So it is about focusing 100% on what I´m doing. I love to do calligraphy, so I focus on the paper, on the pen I use and each letter I´m writing. I´m experiencing each and every move I make and that way I can even forget for a little while that my tinnitus exists!
And then it can even be a relief, a relief from tinnitus a short break and a light flickering up at the end of a dark tunnel. The more you do it, the better it will work!
But why is it important to have a hobby?
A hobby is more than just a time filler – not something to do so that you are not bored or that you don´t feel lonely.
Having a hobby is a great way to get to know yourself better. You actually spend time with yourself and explore your likes and dislikes a little more. You find out more things about yourself, like what you are good at, or new things that you like. It was for me when I picked up reading again, every book or story I read inspired me to read something more and lead me closer and closer to the books I´m ready now – to my spiritual and healing journey.
Doing things we like helps us to relief stress. It doesn´t always have to be meditation or yoga – it could be anything you like. Some people can spend hours and hours with their stamp collection and it helps them to relax and unwind. Once we are in a flow – totally focused on what we are doing and enjoying it, we forget everything else exists. We let go of our worries and fears, of everything that is holding us back. We just have fun and are able to finally let go. So enjoy the flow!
Hobbies help us to take breaks and time for ourselves more regularly. When we have an activity we like, we look forward to it and we want to spend a lot of time doing it. That means we actually look forward to make time for ourselves and it won´t feel like work anymore doing it.
Hobbies bring new opportunities! By spending time with ourselves and doing the things we like – our paths gets formed more and more. We find out what we really want from live and our perception might change. It might help us find or change our career to what is the thing we enjoy most.
A hobby helps to build self-esteem and self-confidence. Through your hobby you not only find what you like but also what you are good at! You might even discover hidden talents and see that there are things that you are good at and which can benefit others. This helps to feel better about yourself and to recognize your own strengths.
As you see, there is no reason to drop your hobbies due to your tinnitus and there are also good reasons to keep up your hobby!
So start your list today!