New Year’s Resolution: Prioritize Your Hearing

My diet will become healthier. I will quit smoking. Working out will be my priority. I will be more patient. It’s the dawn of a New Year — which means most of us will be discussing our New Year’s resolutions.

Even though we may choose a resolution with the utmost tenacity and determination, after only a few short weeks, our motivations quickly fade away. Perhaps we overestimate how much time we have, or maybe our resolutions are a bit too big to realistically accomplish. So, what makes our resolutions just so hard to achieve? Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada says that, “people make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, [but] people [usually] aren’t ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate.” Another interesting psychological reasoning for failed New Year’s resolutions was identified by a different psychology professor, Peter Herman and his colleagues. They call it the “false hope syndrome,” and “it means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth.”

With these things in mind, take a different approach this year when choosing a New Year’s resolution. Choose a goal that you can realistically stick with throughout the New Year and the years to come: Prioritize your hearing health! Here are a few pragmatic hearing health resolution ideas to consider:

  1. Get your hearing tested. On average, it takes seven years for individuals to seek treatment for hearing loss. And hearing loss is notorious for worsening over time. So, if you suspect that your hearing is diminishing, or if you have difficulty navigating listening scenarios that used to be easy — it’s time for a hearing evaluation from a local hearing healthcare professional. Getting started on your journey towards better hearing means you’ll be able to embrace those experiences that are most special.
  2. Become your own advocate. If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, make it a point to advocate for yourself. Hearing loss has often been referred to as “the invisible condition” because people can’t outwardly see its presence. This makes it hard for many individuals to remember (or even acknowledge) that you are struggling with it every day. So, remind your friends, family and coworkers of your hearing loss whenever appropriate. Mention your hearing needs to a hostess when making dinner reservations. Utilize closed-captioning when watching the television. Making these things a habit will help them become routine — and will also boost your confidence!
  3. Be consistent in wearing your hearing aids. If you’re already a seasoned hearing aid wearer, or if this is your first time, do your best to wear your hearing instruments as often as possible — keep them in even when it’s difficult to do so. It’s crucial to give yourself (and your brain) the right amount of time to adjust and adapt to the new level of sound, so choosing to put them in and keep them in will only be beneficial in the long run — it’s also the only way to truly discover how to make Everyday Sounds Better.
  4. Get involved with the hearing loss community. With over 48 million individuals in the United States living with hearing loss (Hearing Loss Association of America), know that you are not alone. The hearing loss and hearing health communities are some of the strongest, most supportive groups of people in the world — get to know them! Find a local Hearing Loss Association of America group and go to meetings. Get support from people with similar experiences and learn about strategies, technology and other resources that can help you thrive on your journey towards better hearing.
  5. Discover new hearing technology. Every day, new innovations are introduced to the hearing health communities. And every day, hearing care professionals uncover new ways to meet a variety of hearing needs. But who says you can’t do some of your own exploring to see what could work best for you? The Center for Hearing and Communication holds a weekly demonstration of assistive listening devices. If you’re close to New York City, this is a fantastic way to discover recent innovations. Register for an event and bring a friend! And if you’re not close to New York, consider other ways to start your own programs — a good starting point? Collaborate with your hearing care professional.
  6. Try something new! Volunteer to speak at a local senior living center about your experiences with hearing loss. Pick up a new hobby like playing an instrument — according to a recent study from Northwestern University, musical experience can fend off hearing loss, even if you start training later in life. Try taking a speechreading class! It’s a fun way to learn new communication skills and can even help you build or foster new/existing relationships.

This year, choose to be empowered by your hearing and use it as a tool to help you grow. Taking control of your hearing health means you’re on the road to making Everyday Sounds Better — so make your New Year’s resolution count this year. Find a hearing care center near you to discover the ways Sonic can help you live life with enhanced hearing!

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