Cosmonaut Song, Anxiety, Tinnitus & Adaptability 

 March 16, 2021

By  Kristin Rivas

Tinnitus, Anxiety, & Adaptability: Read An Inspiring Story On Astronauts & Human Resiliency... 

Do you know what it’s like to see or hear something that grabs your attention so much, it practically entrances you?  

Maybe you stop breathing without realizing it or you get goosebumps because it’s so interesting, beautiful, or inspiring? 

That very thing happened to me the other day from watching a mesmerizing 30-second video on Instagram by the talented dancer @StephanieMillinger. It wasn’t just the creative choreography, it was also the song featured in the video that captivated me.

The name of the song is not listed in the caption or comments on the post so I actually put in the effort to hunt it down. 

Ever heard a song you liked that much? 

Like you couldn’t stop thinking about it until you could know the name and be able to hear it again. I think they call that phenomenon an “earworm” (which I hate but get all the time being the music lover I am).

The name of the song, by the way in case you like to know it too, is called A Moment Apart by Odesza. It’s been edited to feature a clip from the movie Another Earth which tells this story:

Cosmonaut Song, Anxiety & Tinnitus

Do you know that story of the Russian cosmonaut?

He’s the first man ever to go into space. So, he goes up in this big spaceship.

And he's got this portal window and he's looking out of it and he sees the curvature of the Earth for the first time. The first man to ever look at the planet he’s from and he’s lost in that moment.

And all of a sudden, this strange ticking begins coming out of the dashboard. 

He rips out the control panel trying to find the sound to stop the sound.

But he can't find it, he can't stop it, it keeps going.

A few hours into this, it begins to feel like torture. A few days go by of this sound and he knows that this small sound will break him. He’ll lose his mind. What's he gonna do? 

He's up in space! Alone in a space closet. He’s got 25 days left to go with this sound.

So the cosmonaut decides the only way to save his sanity is to fall in love with this sound. 

So he closes his eyes and he goes into his imagination and when he opens them he doesn’t hear ticking anymore...he hears music.

It’s a striking story, isn’t it? It speaks to the adaptability of the human mind and spirit. The ingenuity of our imaginations.

The beauty of this story caught my attention. I wondered if there was any truth to it so checked it out.

The legend goes that Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly in space back in 1961, thought he was going to go insane from an unidentifiable ticking sound until he sat down, closed his eyes for a moment. He listened to the tap until a song popped into his head for which the tapping kept in perfect rhythm. The rest of Yuri’ss flight was filled with music in his head instead of fear or frustration.

The fact is the first trip Yuri Gagarin ever took in space was only 108 minutes long. It was one orbit around the earth. Other than that there isn’t a verifiable record of this story, unfortunately. 

On the other hand, there are plenty of other true stories of astronauts hearing unidentifiable sounds, reacting with fear or distress, and ultimately adjusting. Like the “knocking” sound described by Yang Liwei, China's first man in space, on his maiden flight in 2003. Or the whistling noises resembling “outer-space type music” reportedly heard in May 1969 by the Apollo 10 astronauts, Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernanas, as they circled the far side of the Moon where there is radio silence. The sounds, which lasted about an hour, were recorded and transmitted to mission control in Houston.

The engineers at CNSA (China National Space Administration) and NASA had possible explanations for what these astronauts heard. The noise of knocking was estimated to be a result of expansion or contraction of the spaceship since the temperature of its exterior could change considerably within the orbit. The eerie whistling has been chalked up to radio interference.

What’s interesting is that once these astronauts were presented with perfectly natural and benign causes for the sounds, they were no longer terrified or bothered by them. Neither were the astronauts who followed in future missions since they were warned about the sounds ahead of time, along with the most likely reasons for them.

These verifiable true stories are examples of at least three things. 1) What is new, unfamiliar, or unknown is likely to be greeted with fear and distress when a person is feeling vulnerable, trapped, or out of control. 2) It’s amazing what human nature is willing and capable of adjusting to when the stakes are high enough or conditions require it. 3) A warning or explanation for a problem in itself can be helpful, even if there isn’t an apparent solution yet.

As I look at this past year of a global pandemic, seeing how so many of my hypnotherapy clients have adjusted to these difficult times, I’m truly amazed at what can become our new normal. Especially when a person is given the reassurance their mind is looking for. What we can deal with and overcome is truly remarkable.

For instance, a greater number of clients than usual reached out to me over the past year during this pandemic asking for relief from tinnitus. Understandable considering how tinnitus can become triggered or reignited during times of high anxiety and stress. 

Thankfully, hypnotherapy can be a helpful tool for guiding a person’s mind out of interpreting tinnitus as a threat. Once the sound is recognized as innocuous it can become forgettable. It’s always an honor to help a person regain their sense of ease. To feel at home in their body when the ability to rest more easily at night or in moments of stillness and have better peace of mind naturally returns to them.

Especially since I actually used to have tinnitus, along with vertigo, in addition to panic attacks and non-epileptic seizures. I suffered from anxiety during that period of my life until hypnotherapy helped me to clear up all of these symptoms. It took a lot of time and money to finally find something that helped me but it was sure worth it. Investing in your health always is. 

Thanks for reading. Feel free to respond to contact@kristinrivas.com with your own inspiring stories, thoughts, or songs. I’ll take all I can get plus I may feature them in the future to share with others.

Kristin Rivas

Kristin Rivas is a certified Brain Health Coach, Hypnotherapist, and NLP practitioner who helps people to feel, think, and live better. Specializing in behavior change and goal achievement, she empowers clients to live to their full potential & foster their own wellness. A former TEDx presenter, she is also a highly sought after speaker.

Kristin Rivas

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