How well do you know your mind? How well do you THINK you know your mind?. Your mind can create a story whenever it wants - a story about why that person looked at you that way, about how you don't have enough money to be happy, a story about how others have it easy. but you do not. Your mind will instantaneously fabricate a story about everything that happens around you and everyone you meet, if you let it.
The resulting "story" is based on a series of thoughts that have occurred spontaneously in your mind. These thoughts come from one of two places - the past or the future. In only a few seconds, the "story" can go from conflict to climax to resolution (remember the steps of a story plot from grade school). The characters of your story are probably clueless as to their leading roles while you remain unaware that you are replaying a story from your past, or creating a story based on some fear about the future.
In the practice of mindfulness, we focus our attention on what we are doing in the present moment, be it breathing, washing the dishes, speaking, or eating breakfast. We might imagine mindfulness to be a form of intentional thinking, but not a kind of thinking that involves planning, interpreting, or strategizing. It is thinking about what we are doing, what we are saying, what we are sensing, or how we are feeling in a single moment in time. It is focused thought rather than random thought. It keeps us present. It keeps us in the real story of the moment. It is the purest form of thought and the basis for finding joy in all things.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation,
but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking." ― Eckhart Tolle
Soul in the World