People often ask me, why their concentration is not improving, even though they try 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 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 do 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.
Some of the reasons for lack of progress could be:
- You are moving from one exercise to another, without mastering any one of 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 if you try to focus, but feel you are not making progress? Continue reading below.
What to Do If Your Concentration Is not Improving
1. Relax your body and your mind before starting any exercise. This is fully explained in the book.
2. You need to practice the same exercise every day, until you feel that you are practicing it well, before moving to the next one.
Do not practice different exercises, 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.
3. 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. Others 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 for 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.
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The best advice is to start with the first exercise, do it the best you can, without worrying about how much time it will take you until you practice it correctly. Do not worry if you feel that you are making no progress. If you worry and get stressed it would be difficult to focus.
4. 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 of returning over and again, stay relaxed, acknowledge them, and shift your attention back to the exercise. Persistence would finally pay off.
Do not get anger at your thoughts and avoid any kind of stress. Let the thoughts come and go, but instead of following them, try to shift your attention back to the exercise. Do so calmly and with a relaxed attitude.
5. If you follow the instructions and advice in the book and do not skip anything, you would get results.
You need to acknowledge that more is not necessarily better. There are people who try to do several different exercises every day, and believe that if they focus for long periods they would achieve faster results. This is not correct.
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 how much progress you have made.