A close friend once said, “Life is lifelike” — and indeed life is filled with ups, downs, even upside downs, right? Because even though we’re all on our own journey, the one thing we all face from time to time is challenge. Unfortunately, challenge can sometimes be tough enough to pull us into that dreaded state of worry or tension we call stress.
What challenge causes you stress? For many of us, it’s hearing loss.
Maybe there’s an upcoming gathering and we’re anxious about our ability to carry a conversation with all the background chatter. Or perhaps we find ourselves concentrating so much on speech or lipreading that we’re physically exhausted, otherwise known as listening fatigue — a form of stress. We may even be experiencing the burden of tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”, also linked to stress.
But here’s the good news — treating hearing loss can play a tremendous role in reducing stress. How? By enabling you to more easily engage with life and pay attention to others, two factors that are key to relieving stress, according to the World Health Organization. And remember, managing stress is especially important, given the detrimental effects it can have on your body and health.
So in honor of Stress Awareness Month, here are four specific ways that treating hearing loss by wearing hearing aids can help you reengage, reconnect, and reduce your stress:
1. Hearing aids can help with social anxiety and isolation
Making social contact is a good stress reliever, according to the Mayo Clinic, because it gives you that much-needed support and distraction from your challenges when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Wearing hearing aids and hearing better can help you feel more empowered to catch up with family or friends, or engage in other social activities like volunteering, taking a community education class, attending your place of worship, and so on.
2. Hearing aids can help relieve tinnitus
It’s no surprise that emotional stress and tinnitus can go hand in hand, but wearing hearing aids can help you through: In one study, 60 percent of patients experienced minor to major relief from their tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, while one in five felt major relief. With hearing aids, you can also access the Tinnitus feature on the My Starkey app, which provides tinnitus relief through comforting, customizable sounds you can play through your hearing aids.
3. Hearing aids can help you stay physically active
Physical activity has long been heralded as a stress-fighter, thanks to the upbeat feeling you get with the increase in your brain’s endorphins, and the act of redirecting your attention from problems to body movements. Wearing hearing aids can help you stay active — whether you’re exercising or gardening — by lessening the chances of tripping or falling. After all, better hearing helps make you more aware of your surroundings while supporting your balance and gait.
4. Hearing aids can help you laugh
Laughter really is some of the best medicine for stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing reduces your mental load plus makes a positive impact on your body by igniting then cooling down your stress response. So, harness those hearing aids to stream a comedy special or dine with that friend who’s famous for the funny banter — you’ll likely feel better and have a great time doing it.
What better time than Stress Awareness Month to manage a challenge that continually causes you stress, like hearing loss? Find a licensed hearing care professional near you by typing in your zip code here, and they will be happy to help you every step of the way.
Here’s to hearing better, feeling better, and experiencing every life moment to the fullest. You deserve it!
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