Mindfulness is the idea that we are not our thoughts. When we are mindful, we are tuning in to the present moment. Regrets about the past cause us to feel down, and glorifying the past diminishes the power of the present. Likewise, focusing too much on great things that might happen in the future pulls us away from what is happening now, and worrying about what might happen in the future causes us distress in the present. Also, by learning to become more mindful, we are not judging situations as bad or good; we are accepting them as they are.
Mindfulness has the power to liberate us, to unshackle us, from dwelling on the past or future. This does not mean that we should not reflect on the past or plan for the future, but there are times to do that, and there are times when we should be fully present and soak up the experiences of the moment. Much of our anxiety and depressive feelings stem from dwelling on the negatives of our past or worrying about possible negative outcomes in the future. Becoming more mindful has the power to improve our mood and decrease psychological distress.