Let’s be honest: The beautiful, contemplative Christmas season doesn’t always keep what it promises. Baking cookies, hanging up fairy lights and listening to Last Christmas on the radio are all well and good. Only the full streets, last-minute shopping and last-minute errands for 2019 put a considerable strain on the already thin nerves at the end of the year. Panic quickly breaks out in you and makes you desperately write lists to accommodate all the important to-dos in the last few weeks before the turn of the year.
In all the Christmas chaos, the rescue is waiting for you in the form of an app:
Because as an Urban Sports Club member you can use the meditation app Headspace 3 months for free *! With the meditation guide in your pocket, the Christmas stress can be easily transformed into a cozy, contemplative time.
We tested it for you …
Every beginning is difficult
As an absolute newcomer to meditation, I downloaded the app highly motivated on my smartphone and registered with Headspace. Immediately I am greeted by little mediation helpers who, with a broad grin or relaxed facial expressions, immediately trigger the thought in me: This is how I want to feel now! So let’s go! But how does it actually work? I am curious what will happen to me and am really looking forward to the short, guided meditations. And the desire for less stress finally makes me start with the basic course proposed to me. I can choose between 3 and 10 minutes. I opt for the longer version – after all, the whole thing should be effective. So put on your headphones and off you go!
I listen to the really pleasant voice of Andy, who tells me something about meditation and how it works, and I try to focus my full concentration on myself. But then it starts: Andy’s voice fascinates me so much that my thoughts immediately go somewhere else and imagine what this deeply relaxed person looks like. But I am always brought back by small tasks and now start my body scan. I scan my body from head to toe and try to feel how the individual parts of my body feel, whether something is uncomfortable, particularly pleasant, or hurts. My thoughts regularly wander and I get annoyed that I can’t manage to concentrate 100%. But the voice calms me down and tells me that this is quite normal and that with time and regular practice I will learn to direct the focus and concentration on myself and to keep it there.
I do a few more guided breathing exercises and the 10 minutes are over. It went pretty quickly and I feel calm and relaxed when I open my eyes again. Wow, that felt good, I’m already looking forward to the next session!
Get into the flow
Jump out of bed and start the day right after my alarm clock rings? Not with me! I prefer to lie a little under the warm blanket and scroll through Instagram and Co. There I am overwhelmed by perfectly wrapped gifts, tips on Christmas decorations and tons of Advent calendar competitions that remind me immediately: You haven’t got any Christmas presents yet worried – finally think about something! (Here you can find sports for free). My stress level immediately increased from 0 to 100. And that before half past seven in the morning. So my new plan is as follows: Use headspace before I get up and continue my basic meditation course. So I can start the day more relaxed and have a moment to myself in the morning.
With success, as it turns out: after just a few days, this routine has established itself in my everyday life surprisingly quickly. And my performance increases: I can concentrate better and stay focused longer during the meditations without wandering with my thoughts so often. There are days when it is a little harder for me, but overall it works really well.
Persevere, because it’s worth it. The advantages of the Headspace meditation app at a glance!
With the countdown to Christmas comes the serenity. At least for me. Because I felt some of the benefits of mindfulness and meditation through my daily dose of meditation:
That became noticeable relatively quickly: I just don’t allow myself to be disturbed as quickly as before and appear more confident. The meditations help you to concentrate better on yourself and to evaluate situations differently. We often tend to overreact quickly. But through the breathing and mindfulness exercises you learn to just take a deep breath and take a different perspective. And another advantage: the exercises help you find inner peace, which also has a positive effect on my charisma.
- Improving interpersonal relationships
The inner serenity also affects my mood. And this shines outwards so that my fellow human beings perceive it. By reducing stress, I can better empathize with other people. Compassion is increased and aggression is decreased.
And not only that: Your relationship with yourself also improves. Keyword self-love.
- Improvement of the ability to concentrate
I notice this especially during the meditations: By practicing regularly I manage to concentrate longer and longer to judge myself and not to wander with thoughts. Which is particularly useful for you in everyday life, at work or at university.
However, in addition to the aforementioned, regular meditations also offer numerous other advantages that have even been scientifically proven:
- You are generally happier
- You are happier at work
- You are less sick
- You increase your creativity
You can sleep better
- You increase your well-being
That these effects also have a positive effect on your exercise routine should convince everyone who has hesitated.
I love functional training and HIIT. The workouts are varied, intense and challenging. Not only for muscles but also for the mind. Too often my head tells me: my muscles are burning like fire, I can’t anymore! But it is precisely in these moments that concentration and focus are required. Because there is more in you. And that I can keep the plank longer and longer is not only thanks to the regular sports sessions, but also to the many meditations.
Christmas: here we go!
Meditation is good! Initial difficulties in the form of concentration problems, falling asleep, being annoyed with yourself or even temporary demotivation can occur and are part of it. Quite often I was on the verge of breaking off a session because I just couldn’t focus my thoughts and was disappointed in myself. But I stayed on the ball and it was worth it. This Christmas season, I take a more relaxed approach, enjoy the Christmas markets and don’t panic that I still haven’t gotten any Christmas presents.