Uni­ver­si­ty stress — Do mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion help? A self-experiment

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:

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