Try mixing in one snap cap and load your magazine or better yet, have someone else load it for you. When you get to the snap cap, the gun will obviously not fire. If you notice yourself pushing the gun down, then you are anticipating the recoil. The recoil of the .40 S&W is not that bad in the P229. Maybe you should also consider doubling up your ear plugs with muffs. Sometimes people react more to the perceived increase in recoil due to the louder report. I had a P228 and I have the P229 in .40 S&W. I shot both equally well. For a "compact" handgun, they are remarkably accurate.
One thing I learned early on is to always try to let the shot "catch you by surprise". That means you pull the trigger slowly and smoothly without anticipating when it will go off. Make sure you have good trigger control and I'm sure your accuracy will improve. Good luck!
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!