Earlier this year, I started to notice a persistent ringing in my ears. Sometimes it felt louder in the right ear, sometimes in the left. Sometimes it went away when I took my headphones off or sat in silence; sometimes it just got louder. I tried rinsing out my ears, turning down the volume on my music, leaving my white noise machine off at night. Nothing seemed to help.
I finally made an appointment with an audiologist when I started to legitimately worry the tinnitus was a sign of hearing loss. After running me through some tests to ensure that was not the case, he told me that some tinnitus can actually be caused by tension and tightness in your jaw and neck. I'd been working from home for about a year at that point, and I knew my posture suffered from it, often sitting with my elbows up on my desk and my shoulders hunched all the way up to my ears. By loosening up those tense, slouched muscles around my jaw, neck, and shoulders, my doctor said, I might be able to make the ringing dissipate.
My doctor recommended a specific yoga video to help. Created by Adriene Mishler from Yoga With Adriene, this practice eases tightness and stress throughout your neck, shoulders, and upper body — and it's only 10 minutes long, done entirely in an easy seated position. (Some people use it to ease sinus pain as well.) I followed this video almost every morning for a few weeks, and sure enough, the ringing in my ears began to subside. I could actually feel how much looser my neck and shoulders were after just a few days.
You should definitely talk to a doctor if you hear persistent ringing in your ears, and if stress, tightness, and tension in your upper body is the culprit, this yoga sequence is a quick fix you can try. It's gentle enough to do every day, short enough to squeeze in first thing in the morning or during an afternoon break, and actually worked to loosen my muscles and quiet the ringing my ears. Try it for yourself above.