Everytime you exercise a muscle in the body it develops and slowly becomes a quality called strength. So it is for the mind. Developing the Mental Muscle starts with simple awareness of physiological processes like breathing. Becoming aware of what is natural and just observing it starts the process of building strength in the mind. At this point emotions, thoughts, images, sensory inputs are likely to come too. As you remember to gently acknowledge these and still bring back attention to the breath, you start building the mental muscle. An analogy is cycling. When you ride, you notice going off balance and you make many micro recoveries as you continue to put in effort on the pedal to enjoy the ride. Similarly mindfulness often is about micro recoveries. Everytime you see yourself engage with a thought or emotion that you have called distraction….bring your attention back to the breath. In time the effort required for these micro recoveries and for the sustained attention becomes less.
No one else can teach you but your own practice. In the absence of this effort to work on yourself you are likely to fall prey to prematurely conceived information and half baked gurus and coaches online who make byte sized nonsense to attract gullible people believe something is wrong. Before screens and social media controlled our thoughts, emotions and experiences most of us were able to make these micro recoveries and live a more meaningful life without self diagnosing ourselves with labels and conditions that are often as baseless as the websites that promote them.
1. Strength is built with consistent effort
2. Awareness and Insight are internal processes.
3. If something does not work, try something else but let the right action emerge from your own experience