Skip to main content

I have a gratitude journal

There was a point in time when I was experiencing a prolong period of stress and unhappiness. I was unable to sleep properly, easily irritated, and I lost weight. The situation was so severe that I only managed to have three hours of sleep on some nights, and I had to drink six cups of coffee the next day in order to stay awake through the work day. I knew something was not right, and I researched online to find a way to help get myself out of the vicious cycle.

Firstly, I stopped taking coffee totally. It was challenging during the first week, but once the body gradually got used to the new normal, I don't need coffee to stay awake anymore. I also started to go to sleep at a fixed timing every night, which helped in my effort to not rely on coffee to stay awake. 

I also came across a solution that appeared relatively easy to do and would help relieve stress, and I gave it a try.

I found an unused notebook in my cupboard and it became my gratitude journal. Everyday, I write into my journal about one thing that I am thankful for. It does not have to be something special or major. Some of my entries were as simple as being happy that I got myself a bowl of hot fish soup noodles for dinner after a long day of work. Some entries documented simple but heart-warming messages from my friends who shared with me what made them happy that day or recently, and how I truly felt happy for them too.

Sometimes, there would be days whereby I would feel down, be it due to external incidents that occurred or just simply flash back of some unpleasant past events. On those days, I would read the past entries of my journal and I would gradually feel better. And I would be able to recall something to be happy about for that particular day, even if it had not been a nice day.

I will continue to write my gratitude journal. Doing so makes me happier, which comes naturally when I recall something that I am thankful for and writing it down on paper. Doing so is also helping my future self, should one day in the future I have to read those past entries to help me see beyond the dark clouds.


  1. Thank you. You have inspired me. I will start a gratitude journal by today.

    1. Hi, thank you so much for your kind words! If you find the gratitude journal helpful, please do share this idea with someone you know who may benefit as well! Wish you the best, and a wonderful journey ahead!

  2. Hi

    I think a gratitude journal will help to ensure we live each day thinking about what's important to us.

    1. Hi, thank you very much for sharing your perspective! I never thought of it the way you described, but I agree with you and I will keep what you said in mind. Thank you!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Start of a journey

After working for 6.5 years since I graduated from university, I'm starting to think more about what would I want to achieve moving forward. At the age of 32, I think I have a much better idea of what is meaningful to me, as well as what are my strengths (and areas that I find challenging).
Over the years, I managed to diligently save up and invest. This creates a safety net so that I can have the peace of mind (and resources) to think about my future and have the means to pursue them. I certainly hope that I had saved up even more in the past by spending less on holidays and doing freelance work to earn more. That said, I'm thankful that at least I had the discipline to save whatever I had, and invested over the past years.
Beginning from today, I'm making a conscious effort to spend less, save more, earn more, generate alternative sources of income, and invest more. While I do not yet know specifically what I would like to pursue in the future, I believe that building up a…

Reached CPF FRS

Recently, I transferred monies from my CPF Ordinary Account (OA) into the Special Account (SA), and also made cash top-ups into the SA. Today, my CPF SA has reached the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) of $171,000. My Medisave Account (MA) has reached the Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) of $54,500 some time back. Even if I stop working and contributing to these accounts, the monies will continue to grow over time from the interests that CPF is paying me.
To me, reaching the FRS means that my retirement living expenses would now be taken care of. The MA monies would also cover my medical expenses during retirement. Knowing this gives me peace of mind.
One of the reasons why I decided to top-up my SA to the FRS is because I might quit my current job and try another career path. Topping up my SA to the FRS at least assured myself that should my career switch turned out bad, my retirement needs is still secured.
I'm glad that I have created my own safety net.

Looking for a new job

For the past weeks, I have been looking around for a new job and have went for some interviews. When shortlisting potential jobs to apply for, I compared them against the following areas:
Nature of the work: What is the work about (e.g. operations, finance, administration), and how this job would allow me to learn new things and add on to my range of capabilities? 
Scope of the position: Would this job give me the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and further my management capabilities? Would this job allow me to build up a wider network or help me achieve my next landing point in the career trajectory? 
Work environment: Is the work environment and culture a right fit for me? What is my personality and intrinsic preferences, and would this work environment and dynamics stress me out?
Positive aspects: What are the short-term benefits, advantages and gains for me if I managed to get the job? What are the possible long-term benefits?
Negative aspects: What are the short-term cost…


I just came back from a holiday in Japan, and Takayama is one of the places I visited during my trip. It took me about 2.5 hours to travel from Nagoya to Takayama via the JR Hida Limited Express train. It was a pleasant train ride with scenic views along the way, including farms and mountains.
When in Takayama, I stayed at The Takayama Station Hostel, which is conveniently located near to the Takayama train station (less than 5 minutes walk). I shared a tatami room with a friend and it worked out to be $40 per person per night (cheapest stay during my Japan trip). Toilet and shower facilities are shared with other guests, but they were well kept and very clean! Another area that impressed me was their free breakfast at the 3rd floor's kitchen/lounge area -- free choice of coffee or tea, toast, vegetable soup, and Kei-Chan noodles to give you a great start for the day.

I visited the Miyagawa Morning Market where one could buy local produce, souvenirs and snacks. It is a short stretch…

Moving on to a new job

I'm glad that I have secured a new job, and I'm now in the midst of handing over my work and duties to my staff and supervisor. 
My new job is within the same industry but of a slightly different nature, and the breadth of issues to be dealt with would be wider. Looking at it positively, this would allow me to learn new skills and acquire more knowledge of the sector. That said, I foresee the learning curve would be steep, and in the short-term, I would have to put in extra hours and effort in order to quickly get up to running speed.
In my new job, I will also be looking after a slightly bigger team and have the opportunity to further my management capability. It feels stressful but I guess for a start I can apply what I have learnt in my current job that works, and remember to don't do what I have found would not work.
I realised from this job search experience that being financially stable helped me in my interviews and decision-making on which job to pursue. I felt that I…