There is a meditation technique called ‘tracing back the thought’. When we apply it to our everyday life it means that when we notice our mind has been caught up in a story we try to slowly go back through the mental events to see how it has resulted in the current chaos in our mind.
For example, the other day I was feeling generally annoyed and irritated with everyone around me. They hadn’t done anything wrong, and it wasn’t that I had gotten out of the wrong side of the bed. I sat at my computer wondering where all this frustration had come from. I thought to myself, before I got to work, I didn’t feel happy. When I was driving in my car, I didn’t feel happy. When I left home I was feeling happy. So what was I doing in the car?