Mediation is sold in the western world as a solution to the problem of stress. if you do enough meditation, if you train for a certain amount of hours in a specific way, then you will be sorted! Yahoo!
Big corporations have internal programs fostering mindfulness practices. They speak to cultivate the quality of joy, peace and compassion because it is better for the business (first) and for you (second).
Based on this agenda you start to practice meditation. After a few weeks, you might actually really become more mindful, but the stress has not really gone away, is still there, and maybe it has increased (note: mindfulness is not a practice that aims to get rid of stress).
The next performance review is in 10 days. Tomorrow you have an early meeting at 8 am and you might stay in the office until 9 pm. You have also an approaching deadline and your manager is not in a good mood.
A thought may appear in your head: "I need to work harder with those mindfulness practices. I might not have done enough"
You have just created another task to do and target to achieve, which can very well add to your stress.
Now, let me reframe all this story in a slightly different way.
By practising mindfulness, you can gain some head space to see and understand what is going on with you in your office environment and your life in general.
You might realize that you are even more stressed than you thought. You understand that, given the environment you work in, this is normal. Of course, you might be over-reacting to some events and this is adding another layer of stress to an already difficult situation, but surely, you can now see that at least part of your stress is not caused by your "lack of presence", joy or compassion.
Ask yourself "Am I actually working in a compassionate environment where people are given precedence over numbers?"
Maybe not. Could this corporate mindfulness story be just another way to manipulate me into working harder and harder?
"You are stressed? Go on, do some mindfulness and you will be ok. We are doing our best to make the environment so good for you! Don't you see?".
When this starts to become clear, a mindful mind will ask for actions! And that action could ask you to actively do something to change the environment.