This article originally appeared on NPR.

When something sad, stressful or hurtful happens, so many of us look for a way to distract ourselves from the ensuing pain and discomfort. It may seem counterintuitive, but an effective way to manage our negative reactions to life's stressors actually involves slowing down and paying very close attention, says Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

"The kind of awareness we're talking about is so big and so open hearted and so spacious that it sees the good, the bad and the ugly of the human condition all at once, and it doesn't get caught and imprisoned by any of it."