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We know when we feel stressed. Our thoughts are flying all over the place, our body is all tensed up, we feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Practices in mindfulness suggest that one way to deal with stress is to notice what is happening when we are NOT stressed: to notice how our thoughts are, what our bodily state is like, what emotions are present.

 
In taking time to notice and making this practice of noticing a regular habit, several things happen:
1) we notice we are not stressed all the time;
2) we notice that stress comes and goes,
3) we become sensitive to our states and can make adjustments when the stress signals start happening.