Here is my advice for my patients who notice that their tinnitus becomes louder and more bothersome whenever they feel stressed, and may experience difficulty concentrating at work because the tinnitus continually commands their attention.
For stress management: Your homework assignment for the next week is to spend ten minutes every evening in the most comfortable place in your home. Sit comfortably, breathing deeply, feeling your chest rise and fall. You may play soft-level instrumental music in the background. During this time think about the security that you feel in this moment AND your motivation to habituate to your tinnitus. This association will break down strong limbic connections that have been made between your emotions and your tinnitus, by replacing it with positive associations.
For improved concentration: Bring a small item from your home into your office and place it visibly on your desk. Select something that you associate with happiness and peace. Perhaps, you may select an item from your travels, a child’s artwork, or a sea shell. Any time that you find yourself distracted, bring your attention to this meaningful item and say the word “focus” out loud. This exercise will help train your brain to focus when you are motivated to do so.