NPR’s story entitled “Rethinking Tinnitus: When the Ringing Won’t Stop, Clear Your Mind” explains that the old strategy of eliminating the constant ringing people with Tinnitus are plagued with is being rethought. New research from the University of San Francisco suggests that rather than “not thinking” about the pain caused by tinnitus, practicing mindfulness of it. In doing so the pain becomes more tolerable and allows the person experiencing it to be more effective in their everyday life.
Mindfulness is the goal of our meditations and daily grounding. Dr. Jennifer J. Grans explains that “Mindfulness is the skill of keeping sensation, emotions, and thoughts in moment-to-moment awareness without judgment” (Gans, J: Mindfulness-based tinnitus therapy is an approach with ancient roots. Hearing Journal November 2010 – Volume 63 – Issue 11 – pp 52,54,56).
The secret to happiness and effectiveness is being totally aware of all of our thoughts and feelings. Humans have thoughts and feelings for a reason. Stuffing them or ignoring them is what leads to stress and growing mountains out of molehills.
Imagine someone with financial troubles. If they ignore the problem, try to simply focus on something else, or pretend there is nothing wrong, they will never overcome the challenge. Facing what we fear or do not like in our lives is the first step to growing beyond them.
Robert DeMong has Tinnitus and is going through mindfulness training after years of running from the sensation. He says “The ringing is still there”, but now he is dealing with it differently “[I] Acknowledge it — and let it be.” Theresult is that he has left the anxiety and suffering behind. He has found happiness within the exact same circumstances that were previously controlling his level of happiness.
Meditation and being centered or grounded will not eliminate the challenges that are stressing you out and allegedly keeping you from greater happiness (they are not by the way – we are all theoretically capable of being truly happy under any circumstance). Our daily groundings are designed to help us find our center so that we can be more effective in dealing with these challenges and creating what we want.
Dr. Gans states “People have a choice in how they respond”. That is empowering. That is the truth. Every situation you are in, you have a choice in how you respond. What response will be most effective for you? Learn to take control of the rudder on your own ship. Are you reacting to circumstances or are you in control of your actions?
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