2022-12-02 · 5 minutes to read

Nicolai Bülow’s story: Endel as a digital hug for stress relief

Written by: Bob Wilson · Published by: Endel

Nicolai Bülow’s photo

Like many people, I have difficulties with concentration and information overload. I have experienced early childhood trauma , and that led to sudden problems with anxiety regulation, body tension and a chaotic state-of-mind

"I have tried meditation as a part of post-traumatic integration, and it has been very helpful in relieving inner tension and stress."

I found it difficult to get into a meditative state at first because I was easily distracted by stressful, painful, anxiety provoking memories, and disturbing thoughts. Gradually, I developed the habit and meditated for 150 consecutive days in 2019.

Seeking for music to relieve anxiety

Early traumatic memories were triggered during the pandemic when I was isolated and cut off from usual social contacts and events, which had a dramatic, stressful effect on me and worsened my mental state. It also collided with a breakup, so I had a very dark, upsetting and hard time since March 2020.

"I felt like my mind was in emergency mode and shutting down higher brain areas responsible for creativity, abstract thinking and social engagement. So, I started trying apps and gadgets to help me feel more grounded."

At that time, I already found it difficult to fall into a meditative state in silence. Headspace and their daily guided meditations first helped me with this. But after a year this became repetitive, I felt bored and switched to Calm because I liked the voice and user experience there more. Also during the pandemic, I bought an Apple Watch, which allowed me to perfectly track my heartbeat and its dependence on my mood. I discovered Endel through the Apple Watch 'App of the Year' recommendation, which convinced me to download and try the app.

"Endel works magic on me."

Head with the lines

The antistress app

I don't know how Endel actually works, but I definitely see the positive effect it has on me and my nervous system. It supports productive flow, I feel more focused when I have Endel sounds in my ear. It had a very positive effect on my mental health during the pandemic and it helps my stress relief ever since.

In order to combat melancholy, I am now attempting to break the tendency of keeping social distance by meeting new people and creating more close connections.

"Asking for hugs is one of my coping mechanisms; it’s a fantastic way to let my body know that I’m not alone any longer. I even kept a «hug diary.»"

I now make an effort to advance and widen my perspective by getting in touch with my desires, dreams, goals, and aspirations. When I'm calm, I'm able to see more clearly and make better decisions for myself.

Many highly addictive platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, are accessible through the iPhone. In order to be less easily distracted and less dependent on social media, dread scrolling, and bedtime message checking, I sold my Apple Watch and iPhone. I still have an iPad and a Mac and use most platforms on the desktop, but this is less addictive and these larger gadgets are not as convenient to take to bed – once I close my Mac, I don't have the temptation to constantly check messages, and I don't get dozens of annoying notifications. So you can see that, unlike the Watch, Endel stuck by me.

Define destress

Endel brings structure to my mind. It’s the best of the best apps to block distractions, I turn it on so I don't get interrupted by noises and notifications and can be focused and work more effectively. I may select the soundscape that best suits my mood with Endel. My favorite soundscapes are Study and Hibernation. It provides me this elusive sense of security through delicate, subtle tones that, in my opinion, affect me subconsciously. Although I can see there are many more new scenarios, soundscapes, and features, I try to keep things straightforward and tend to stay with these two.

"I’ve decided to limit the number of choices I have to make each day. I appreciate that I can turn on Endel and start listening with just one button."

I once spent more than 12 hours alone in the car, traveling from Berlin to Sweden, while listening to Focus. Time on the journey seemed to fly by as I entered a state of flow and felt empowered. I got the time to consider a variety of issues, and I truly felt that Endel "knew the mindset" I was in.

I often recommend Endel to my friends because it’s good for concentration and extended hours of study. One of my friends now uses Endel as well. However, I have found that not everyone enjoys the concept of an endless soundscape that is generated automatically and never ends like "relaxing songs" because it differs greatly from how they are used to listening to calming music.

"For someone else, it might be too «special,» but not for me."

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