Tinnitus is an experience of noise without any external source. Culturally, hearing something that’s not there terrifies us. I am not sure why, but many of us are very afraid of anything to do with their minds. In fact, when I meet someone socially and they find out that I am a Psychologist, they tend to stop speaking with me. The very word ‘Mental’ (something of mind) is a scary word for people. When our minds are not working as we expect them to… isn’t it fascinating that we can use our mind to create expectations for our mind’s performance… But when our minds do not meet those expectations, we tend to become very afraid… freak out even.
In his courageous, honest, and inspiring talk (and others before hand), Jonathan Fields describes the step-by-step growth he experienced when learning to open up to noise in his ears. After all, human beings are incredible learners. Whatever we do, we get better and better at. Running away from the tinnitus repeatedly teaches us to be better and better at being afraid of it. The opposite is also true – opening up to it repeatedly teaches us to be better and better at being in its presence.