Coping with any illness is a battle within itself. When one has misophonia, it feels almost impossible to find relief in the midst of the triggers. If you don’t know what misophonia is it is a neuropsychiatric condition that makes the person react very strongly to audible stimuli such as chewing, swallowing, etc. If you would like a more in-depth look on misophonia and my story please click here.
Coping is possible when one struggles with misophonia. I have found a few key techniques and products that help me immensely through it. Some of these strategies can be used during the trigger or after.
Earplugs are a must when it comes with dealing with misophonia. I cannot tell you how handy these are to have. They can be used in school, meal times, movie theaters, etc. Although it won’t eliminate the sound completely, it may help you deal with the frequency of the sound.
I have tried tons of earplugs. The ones that work best for me are the Sun-Star Soft Ear Plugs. They fit great for my ears. (Unfortunately, they do not sell these anymore at the place I have gotten them. I am going to try to find a retailer that sells them!) In a pinch, I usually use some foam earplugs that you can get at your local drugstore.
When you find yourself in a situation with the trigger sound(s) remember to breathe. For me, I get into a “fight or flight” mode when I hear a trigger sound. Because I am in that state, my adrenaline pumps and I forget that I am not in a life threatening situation.
Take slow deep breaths. This will get oxygen to your brain and slow your heartbeat. Try to relax and focus on your breath. I know it is really really hard to not “pay attention” to the noise, but remember to breathe.
3. Do something
Meaning, don’t just sit there and focus all of your energy on the triggers. Try, to the best of your ability, to do something such as doodle, write, etc. It is hard to focus with the noise around you, so try to do something that will take your mind off of things. If you have a piece of paper, you can fold it up a million and one times, draw on it, write your name in different scripts, it is up to you!
4. Essential Oils
This one is one of my favorite methods. I like to choose an essential oil that I absolutely love the scent of. When you are somewhere quiet and peaceful, put a drop on your wrist and rub them together. Breath the scent in and out. Relax as you do so. Do this over a course of a couple days until you become relaxed when you breathe the scent.
When you are in a situation where you are by a trigger, take out your essential oil and inhale. Your mind may subconsciously refer to this scent as calming and soothing helping you in that situation. Dab some on your wrist for a quick solution.
Some essential oil scents I suggest are lemon, lavender, grapefruit, and eucalyptus.
Remember that you are not to blame for developing misophonia. Misophonia is an illness. Somedays will be hard and others will be easier. You are strong enough to cope with this illness.
Take such great care,