Mindfulness means that we are paying attention to everything that happens within our bodies and around us in the present moment without judgment. However, when we are on autopilot, we often act unconsciously or habitually. We just react. Even our thoughts can occur without our conscious awareness. It is human nature to categorize and evaluate everything that we think, see, hear, etc., and these evaluations typically alter our experience and are usually at the root of our stress.
By using mindfulness techniques to pay attention to our minds and bodies, we can begin to take more control and switch off the autopilot. Learning to be fully aware of our bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions—no matter whether they are pleasant or unpleasant—can help us deal with our stress more effectively.