“Suddenly in the library there is this strangely shaped box, which I’ve never seen before,” says Mikail Döner (23), a BA student in International Economics and Business Economics at EUR. He’s referring to the white, octagonal booth that’s been in the corner by the entrance to the university’s library since November. “I want to know what it is.”
“Nest Awakened” is written in black letters on the door. When Mikail enters the small room and closes the door, he first feels a “strange feeling”. “In the cabin, you are cut off from the world, you no longer hear anything from the library.” In the small room there is a soft lounge sofa, and the colorful lights are dimmed. There is a slightly sweet floral scent. And in the wall is a tablet with two options: guided or unguided meditation.
“It is primarily a place where you can spend time with yourself,” says Pim van den Bos (28), creator of Mindfulnest. While studying law in Amsterdam, he missed such a place at the university. “I had a busy study and work and my girlfriend was sick. Meditation helped me stay balanced, but I always had to go home.”
How difficult is it? Calm the mind with yoga and meditation
Under the guidance of Coach Harvinder Chahal, a total of fifteen students participate…
Although Bim already had the idea in mind in 2018, he first wanted to complete his master’s degree. “But then the worst happened: My girlfriend died,” he says. “She always told me to keep it up. After I doodled a little bit, I did.”
Mindfulnest is now leased to seven universities. Right now, Pim isn’t making any money from it, but that’s the intention for the long term. A pilot trial with Mindfulnest is now underway, and an evaluation will be conducted with the university library in March. Then it is decided whether the cabin will stay there any longer.
In any case, Mindfulnest in the university library is now doing quite well, according to data collected via the tablet. In November and December, the booth was used nearly 2,000 times and nearly 90 percent of users reported feeling better after a session.
This includes the public administration student Bilal Adass (23). Mindfulnest feels like “another world” where you “get out of the hustle and bustle,” he says after stepping out of space. Follow the guided focus meditation. “I don’t know yet if it will have much effect if I start studying this way, but I notice that I am much calmer.”
There is a second session for Bilal. But then unguided meditation will follow. “I thought there was just too much talking. That little voice was just too much for me, and I especially enjoy the music and the lights.”
For student Mikail, the “oddly shaped” Mindfulnest was a pleasant surprise. “It removes stress, and it makes me happier,” he says after doing a self-guided meditation with ocean sounds. “The sound reminded me of my home in Antalya, Turkey.”
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