Mindfulness: Why isn't it working for me?

Contributor(s): Andrea Uptmor, MA, MFA
man looking frustrated

meditation class“Mindfulness” is the buzzword of today, popping up everywhere from news reports about its powerful effects to corporate de-stressing seminars and military training programs. This recent surge in popularity, fueled by a rapidly growing body of research showing the benefits of mindfulness, has inspired everyone from college students to new parents to business executives to adopt the ancient practice.

The recent proliferation of information on mindfulness—not all from reputable sources—may encourage some people to think that if they adopt the practice for a while, all of their problems will go away. But it doesn’t quite work like that. Mindfulness is not a medicine you can simply swallow, nor is it a “get better fast” program that provides a shortcut to wellbeing. It’s a way of seeing the world that takes practice to develop, along with patience, courage, and a light touch.