Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

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“We’re all our own worst critics.” Ever heard that one before? Yes, it’s an obnoxious cliché, but it’s not just self-help fluff. Evolutionary psychologists have studied our natural “negativity bias,” which is that instinct in us all that makes negative experiences seem more significant than they really are.In other words: We’ve evolved to give more weight to our flaws, mistakes and shortcomings than our successes.“Self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies,” said Dr. Richard Davidson, founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also teaches psychology and psychiatry.

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