There is a strong link between stress and tinnitus, creating a vicious cycle: tinnitus causes stress and stress causes tinnitus. If we learn to cope with stress in our lives, that cycle can be broken and the impact that the tinnitus has on us can be reduced.

One way of learning to cope with stress is by practicing daily relaxation exercises. In the Widex Zen Therapy program we recommend three relaxation exercises.

Before starting the exercises:

  • Sit on a comfortable chair or exercise mat.
  • Make sure the environment is quiet and free from distractions.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • If you want to listen to Widex Zen or Widex SoundRelax™ tones, wear your Widex hearing aids.


Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise in which you tense your muscles and then focus on consciously relaxing them again, all while breathing deeply. This helps you to learn what it feels like when your muscles are tensed, so that you can relax them when you feel stress tension coming on in the future.

  1. Starting from your head down, focus on a particular group of muscles.
  2. Take a deep breath over a span of eight seconds and tighten these muscles while doing this, e.g. pull your face into a grimace to tighten your facial muscles.
  3. Release the muscles suddenly, while slowly breathing out.
  4. Repeat the above steps in this order: neck, shoulders, chest, stomach, right arm and hand, left arm and hand, buttocks, right leg and foot, and left leg and foot.
  5. After you’ve completed all of the muscle groups, relax for 10 – 15 seconds and repeat. The exercises shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
  6. When you’ve finished the whole exercise, count to 20 and get up slowly.


Deep breathing has a multitude of benefits, including decreasing stress, lowering blood pressure, and improving the well-being of those with anxiety and depression. It acts as a signal to your brain to relax, which could reduce how bothersome your tinnitus is.

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth.
  2. Inhale through your nose for four seconds – make sure that you’re using a “longer” count here, e.g. ‘One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two…’
  3. Hold your breath for four seconds.
  4. Exhale through your mouth for 6 – 8 seconds.
  5. Repeat this cycle 20 times.


Guided imagery is an exercise in which you imagine yourself in a very relaxing environment – and has also been shown to promote relaxation, decrease stress, and lower blood pressure.

  1. Keep your eyes closed after finishing the deep breathing exercise. If you can, continue with deep breathing while completing this exercise.
  2. Imagine that you are in the most relaxing environment – whatever that means for you, for example lying on the beach, floating in water, or floating on a cloud.
  3. Try to imagine with all of your senses what it feels like to be in this environment – imagine the smell, sound, the feel on your skin, the taste (if applicable).
  4. You can play the Widex Zen tones, SoundRelax™ tones, or your own relaxing imagery sound (e.g. fire crackling, ocean waves, babbling brook) while doing this exercise.
  5. When you’re finished, count to 20 and then slowly get up. 


The best relaxation exercises for tinnitus include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, and meditation. 
Relaxation exercises cannot cure tinnitus, but they can help manage the symptoms and reduce stress and anxiety associated with tinnitus. 
It is recommended to do relaxation exercises for tinnitus at least once a day for 10-15 minutes. However, you can do them more frequently if needed. 
There are no known risks associated with relaxation exercises for tinnitus. However, if you experience any discomfort or pain during the exercises, stop immediately and consult with your tinnitus specialist. 
Yes, relaxation exercises can be used in combination with other tinnitus treatments such as sound therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (counseling), and medication. It is important to consult with your tinnitus specialist to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.


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