Being present sometimes isn't always as simple as it sounds. It can be hard to find, even when you know it's an essential state for your brain. You might not have even realised but with years of conditioning, you may have actually trained your brain to be in a constant state of either the past or the future.
Your thoughts are constantly pulled into what has happened and what could have been, or dip in the future with questions of what could be and what might happen.
And it's totally natural; it's completely normal to spend time planning, dreaming and reflecting. And it's an important activity to determine how you might move forward in life. But if you let yourself live life completely attached to emotions of the past and future, like regret or anxiety, the amount of time you stand peacefully in the present becomes increasingly rare. With frequency, habit quickly becomes the normal order of things. But just because it's become the norm doesn't mean it's good for you.
Finding the present is a crucial way of grounding yourself. It's critical to give yourself clarity, to see the true order of the world and to feel calm.
So how to break the habit of too often stepping into the past and future? Well, first perhaps, it is time to challenge your notion of time. We know time is a human construct, something we devised to create a framework in which to organise and give points of reference to our lives. But really, there is only one endless moment; right now. This very pinprick of time - one that is constantly evolving, adapting and changing. The past and future don't tangibly or physically exist, except in our minds.
All that can exist is the present. Concerns of the past and future take you away from enjoying the present and, ultimately, of the peace that can be found in the now.
The solution; commit more of yourself to the present. Stop to smell the roses. Pause to enjoy the work you are doing instead of rushing a look ahead to looming deadlines. Sit in stillness, pause to call on each of your senses; what can you feel, taste, hear, feel and see right now?
Spend more time here, now, because it's the only time you can access.