People often ask me why their concentration is not improving, even though they are trying to improve it. They also ask me why they have to fight with distracting thoughts when they practice a concentration exercise.
Here is an excerpt from an email I received from one of the readers asking these questions:
“I have been reading your book on how to focus the mind, and I have been practicing the exercises for some time, but I haven’t noticed an improvement in my ability to concentrate. ”
“There have been spasmodic moments in which I have been able to concentrate, but there has not been any steady increase in my ability to concentrate.”
“In addition, each time I try to concentrate and ignore the other distracting thoughts in my mind, it gets harder for me to ignore them to the point in which I simply can’t focus on what I’m doing at the moment.”
“I would appreciate it if you could provide me with additional advice and guidance on how to deal with my present situation.”
If your concentration is not improving, despite your efforts to improve it, there must be something that you are not doing right.
A few Reasons Why Your Concentration Skills are Not Improving
Some of the reasons for lack of progress could be:
- You are moving from one exercise to another without mastering them first.
- Instead of focusing on one exercise every day until you master it, you try to practice many exercises simultaneously and superficially.
- You are not training yourself every day, but only occasionally.
- You are not following the instructions and advice concerning the exercises.
What should you do if you try to focus but are not progressing? Continue reading below.
What to Do If Your Concentration Is not Improving
Here are a few tips to help with improving your concentration and focus.
1. Concentration Requires Relaxation
Relax your body and your mind before starting any exercise. This is fully explained in the book.
A relaxed body and calms the mind. When the calm mind is calm it is easier to focus.
2. Repeat the Same Concentration Exercise
You need to practice the same exercise every day until you feel you are practicing it well before moving to the next one.
Do not practice several kinds of exercises simultaneously, unless you have enough experiences and ability.
If you practice one exercise for just a little while and then move to the next one, you will not make any real progress. You need to start with the first exercise and practice only that one every day. You need to continue with it until you practice it well and without much effort.
Some people are impatient and try practicing several exercises simultaneously, believing that in this way, they will progress faster. This is a waste of time and energy.
Some practice the exercises superficially and do not devote enough time to each exercise. This, too, does not bring results.
The time one needs to devote to practicing each exercise might vary widely from person to person. Depending on one’s earnestness, motivation, state of mind and other factors, practicing an exercise successfully might take from a few days to a few weeks, and sometimes, a few months.
The best advice is to start with the first exercise and do it the best you can, without worrying about how long it will take you to practice it correctly.
Do not worry if you feel that you are making no progress. If you worry and get stressed, it is difficult to focus.
3. Refuse to show interest in distracting thoughts
When distracting thoughts pop up in your mind while exercising, don’t show any interest in them. However, do not use force to ignore them. Don’t fight them because if you fight them, they will get stronger. Lack of interest and detachment would be the best strategy.
If the distracting thoughts insist on returning repeatedly, stay relaxed, acknowledge them, and shift your attention back to the exercise. Persistence would finally pay off.
Do not get angry at your thoughts, and avoid any kind of stress. Let the thoughts come and go, but try to shift your attention back to the exercise instead of following them. Do so calmly and with a relaxed attitude.
4. Patience and Perseverance
Always remember that improving your concentration skills requires patience and perseverance. The mind has learned to skip, not pay attention, and allow distractions to play with it. This is creating a short attention span.
The more patient and persevering you are the more progress you will make.
5. Undoing Weakening Mental Habits
Improving concentration requires that you undo some mental habits, which takes time and effort, but the rewards are great. You gain more control over your mind and life, become more productive and efficient, increase your ability to study and learn, and much more.
Strive to be aware of the mental habits that stand in your way to better concentration and then work on building better habits. This, of course, requires you to step out of your comfort zone.
If you follow the instructions and guidance in our book about focus and concentration and do not skip anything, you will get results.
You need to acknowledge that more is not necessarily better. Some people try to do several different exercises every day, believing that focusing for prolonged periods would achieve faster results. This is not the correct action to take.
Practicing one exercise at a time until mastering it and then moving on is the right approach.
As a beginner, you would not exercise your body at the gym for long hours. You would proceed slowly and gradually. Otherwise, you might strain your muscles and exhaust yourself. This is the same when training your focus. It might seem strange, but going slowly and gradually would bring faster and better results.
Remember, to improve your concentration and focus, go slowly, follow the instructions in the book, and try to enjoy what you are doing. Avoid stress, and do not worry about how much progress you have made.