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Dhaka Tribune

Don't let me, get me down

5 ways you may be sabotaging your own happiness

Update : 17 May 2018, 05:35 PM

Ramadan is the perfect time to take stock of your life and make a few changes to boost happiness. You’d be surprised at what a little introspection can turn up. If you’ve been feeling shortchanged far too often, here are five red flags to look out for:

Never letting go

People change as they grow, and sometimes, they might grow apart, or in different directions. Be it your best friend, a co-worker, or even your spouse, relationships might stop working, and not always from lack of trying. Hanging on to a relationship way past its sell-by date, even though both of you are miserable, and neither of you have the energy and inclination to “fix” things, is helping no one.  Cut them loose gently, and allow yourself a moment of grief, before moving on, and you’ll find yourself feeling might lighter.

Getting personal

Sometimes it might seem like the world is out to get you. Your co-workers never invite you to their shenanigans. Your neighbours never smile back. Your spouse has been distracted lately. Your parents don’t praise you as much as they do your siblings. Any of those things, should you choose to obsess, turn you into one sad ball of stress. Conversely, you could learn not to take things too personally, and learn that it’s not always about you, and even when it is, people can’t affect how you feel if you don’t let them. It is literally impossible to be universally liked and if you can find a way to be fine with that, you’ll recover the spring in your step.

The glass half empty

Dhaka is an immensely difficult city to live in; we’ve got annual lists and articles to prove it. Things go wrong faster than you can say Murphy’s Law. So it’s really easy to get sucked up in all that negativity. There are long lines at the hospital that will tell you how easy it is to let stress eat you up. Beat that cycle by embracing the things that work, the things that make you feel good, the things you can be proud of.  Take stock of the good things in your life, make a list of things that make you happy. Taking a few moments every day to be grateful can impact you in ways you can’t imagine.

Pocketful of stones

Our culture is a self-effacing one. From a young age, we’re expected not to call attention to ourselves, and collectively find it hard to accept compliments at face value. But there’s a difference between being modest and constantly putting yourself down. The latter could lead to self-esteem issues, which might even negatively affect your health. So the next time you catch yourself criticizing yourself or obsessing on your flaws, stop. Give yourself a break and do something nice for you. When you’re feeling more confident, you’ll make fewer mistakes.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Another side-effect of a Bangali upbringing is a tendency to compare. When you’ve grown up hearing about Omuk Aunty whose perfect child Tomuk had the perfect manners/grades, and then bagged the best job and spouse, as compared to your less-than-stellar accomplishments, you tend to pick up a habit of comparing yourself with everyone around you. And social media doesn’t make it easier.  Remember that the grass is always greener, and focus on what’s going well for you, and you’ll be much happier for it.

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