Students sometimes tend to tune out if they think the course is “mindfulness instruction”. Definitions of the word mindfulness vary greatly, and there can be some stigma around it. We have found that it’s better to introduce the course as a tool to help sharpen their ability to focus. The course also puts them in the driver’s seat for how they feel. So often students think that their emotions happen “to them”. This course provides strategies to help each student have more agency in how they feel.
If framing the course as a toolkit for focus and emotional well-being doesn’t help, consider asking the student what it is that they care about. How might learning to train their attention help them with that area of their life that they already care about? Once the course seems personally relevant, skepticism often fades.