How and why you should write your own affirmations

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Just the other day, I caught myself mid-thought berating myself for not being able to do a task. “If only this came naturally to me,” I thought. Instead of gentle encouragement, there I was hammering myself for being myself and doing my best.

How often have you paused to think about your self-thoughts? What are you saying to yourself subconsciously? What proportion of your thoughts are positive and negative? My guess is rarely to never.

It’s no surprise that we have lots of thoughts each day, and according to a Psychology Today article, up to 70% of our mental chatter…


5 ways you can be reading better

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When people talk about their goals or resolutions, I always hear the mention of reading more. Although I read quite a fair bit already, I was no exception. Going into 2020, I set my reading goal at 40 books, and when the pandemic hit, I was able to dedicate even more time to reading and breeze through 52 books in the year.

But after reflecting upon my 52-book adventure, I realized there were times I was reading just for the sake of finishing the book to add to my count. There were times I was stuck in a book when…


How extroverts can help introverts in the post-pandemic world

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This past week, a friend invited me to play Mahjong with a group of 8+of his friends. After many rounds of talking myself out of (and back into) going (and a mental pros and cons list), I bit the bullet and went. The drive to learn Mahjong outweighed the social anxiety.

It was… overwhelming. After having only hung out with people on Zoom and in small groups in person for a year, walking into a situation with eight strangers was a lot.

Reflecting on the night, I’m glad I went (Mahjong turned out to be really fun!). But there were…


5 invalidating phrases to avoid and what to say instead

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Hey, do you have a minute?”

“Yeah, of course.”

*phone rings*

“Hey, I just really need to vent right now.”

Okay, yeah go for it.

*Friend talks for 10 minutes and I’m thinking hard about what I can say to make them feel better or how to shift their perspective about their problem*

Me: “Well, what about being positive? On the bright side…”

Them: “Ugh, no, you’re not listening. I just don’t want to be positive right now.”

Have you ever been in that situation where you can’t find the right words to say and you’re unsure how to respond…


You might be in the neutral zone

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When the pandemic struck, I was one of the lucky ones. I could work remotely, make a job change, and was even excited at the prospect of not having to commute anymore.

But fast forward a year later, I’m well past the starry-eyed honeymoon phase of the pandemic. I moved from the US to Thailand for what was supposed to be a quick transition through to my new job in Singapore, only to have arrived here smack dab in the midst of the second wave. The Instagram-worthy beaches and the liberty of domestic travel I was promised, dissipated. …


In a medical drama where so many die, what does it mean to live?

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I’m a Grey’s Anatomy fanatic — loud and proud. Heck, I’ve got an annual pass to Shondaland. In the midst of the third wave of Covid and lockdown, I was search of some familiarity and comfort, and decided to rewatch part of Grey’s Anatomy and spend time with the relatable, complex, and lovable characters that I missed.

When you’re rewatching something for the fourth-ish time (yes, I take pride in this), you’re bound to pick up and notice the other things you didn’t. It’s like when you return to a familiar place after being gone for a while, or when…


I'm getting chills just reading this as someone who takes scorching hot showers. But I'll give this a shot!


Inspired by the fierce women in The Bold Type

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Recently, I stumbled upon a show called The Bold Type which follows the lives of three millennial women living in New York. The trio navigate their careers at a women’s magazine, Scarlet, while trying to balance their romantic lives. Craving a bit of an escape into this fast-paced, glamorous world, I grabbed my earphones, and plunged right in to the series.

Four seasons later (yup, that’s right, ya girl is up to date and waiting for the last season), the show has undone so many stereotypes about women, especially women in the workplace, that I didn’t even know I had.


Spread genuine kindness and make someone’s day

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We’ve all heard the cheesy, kiss-up compliments, and we’ve rolled our eyes at them. But I’d bet that you’ve also gotten a compliment that’s changed your day, where it was the exact thing you needed to hear that day.

Giving and receiving a genuine, unique compliment can go a long way. It spreads positivity and can nourish the well-being of others, as well as yourself. Research shows that receiving a compliment lights up the same part of the brain as when receiving monetary rewards. Giving gratitude-based compliments also boosts physical and emotional well-being.

We know our words are powerful, so…


Reflections on lessons I’ve learned and what I want to pass on

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Toffy Char

part-time globe trotter | full-time justice warrior | lifelong reader and learner | co-founder of MindTerra (mindterra.co), a global mental well-being community

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