I’m stressed. That’s probably what many students say about themselves, but when, after four online lectures, I still have a 40-page text for the next day’s seminar and the preparation of a presentation waiting for me, it sometimes feels like I’m the only one who’s in over my head. What doesn’t help at all against stress is that I don’t really know any of my fellow students personally and therefore I can hardly talk about workload, overload and tasks. So for the past eight months, I’ve been sitting alone at my desk, asking myself questions in my student home office like: Should I understand this? Does it have to take this long? Can I still manage this? Why is everyone else so much more productive than me? Sleeping or reading on? The days blur into one another and I feel like I just keep going and going without realizing how I’m really doing.
For some years now, there has been a kind of mindfulness boom in the media. People swear by meditation, yoga and journaling, and say that morning rituals help against everyday blues. But what is mindfulness, really? According to the German Center of Excellence for Mindfulness (DFME) is a special form of attention, a clear state of consciousness that allows one to register present stimuli without judgment. For me, mindfulness has a lot to do with listening to myself, my body, my thoughts and sensations, registering my emotional as well as external experiences. This hopefully leads to clarity about how I feel, my current situation, and how I want to behave towards myself and others on a daily basis.
When I type the term into my favorite source of inspiration — Pinterest — it doesn’t take long for mindfulness to pop up in connection with stress reduction. Maybe mindfulness can help me with my uni stress too? How do I manage to go through my life more mindfully? After some research, it’s clear to me: you don’t become mindful just like that. You need exercises, which are fortunately available on the Internet. On YouTube, I find yoga exercises designed to bring me into harmony with my body, Instagram is full of users documenting their journey to more mindfulness, and even on TikTok I find videos showing how people experience a glow-up because they practice mindfulness. Meditation is always a big theme, but breathing exercises and active self-reflection also seem to play a role. Since I’ve been doing vinyasa yoga for a few years, I know meditation from the final relaxation. However, I have never dealt with it in more detail. Here comes the Meditation and Mindfulness Online Course the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) comes into play. The ten-part coaching program, which is free of charge, aims to develop the participants’ mindfulness skills bit by bit until they become a natural part of their everyday lives. Actually, you’re supposed to take a week for each section. For the purpose of this article, I’m trying to test the course a little more quickly. In doing so, I’m looking at how what I’m learning is affecting my life and especially my stress in the context of college.
You want to know how the self-test turns out? Then read the complete article: