When you practice mindfulness, you see better how your thoughts work. You learn, for example, that the annoying voices inside your head telling you you’re stupid or a failure are simply thoughts, not facts. You don’t have to take them seriously. Seeing that your habitual nasty voice is not based in reality is mindfulness. Most people feel better and work harder when letting go of this self-criticism.

Giving less attention to your inner critical voice is a first step toward enjoying life more. It’s easy to get caught up in negativity and to miss what you’re doing well. We all get lost in worrying about what might be coming next, or what we did last week, and that pattern changes how we feel. For example, when caught up in past or future thinking, we overlook fun moments and don’t enjoy them as much.

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