Polly set up BeGlad ‘to bring you as many stories as possible of good coming out of bad and reasons to Be Glad. The fact of the matter is that bad things happen, life is not fair and we can’t be happy all the time. However, if you practice stopping any negatives before they spiral out of control by looking for positives you are usually half way to feeling better.’
We asked Pollyanna what inspired her and how this can empower you too.
1. What inspired you to set up the BeGlad movement?
I wanted to help people focus on the positives in their life and not the negatives. We get what we focus on. My mum named me after the film Pollyanna because the little girl in the film plays the glad game, where she chooses not to dwell on bad things but to find a reason to be glad instead. Every time anything went wrong in my life my mum would say ‘now come on Polly, play the glad game’ and I would have to list off everything I was grateful for and lucky to have. It stopped me from getting trapped in a negative downward spiral.
2. Do you find people revert back to old habits of negative introspection too often?
I think it is only natural to do this, little things will trigger us and I am certainly not exempt! It’s important to acknowledge when you are feeling low, I don’t advocate pretending everything is OK. Talking helps to get things straight in your head. I am a listening volunteer for the Samaritans too. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts you have to get into the habit of stopping yourself, literally saying to yourself ‘right, stop Polly, stop stop stop! What is going on here?’ asking yourself what has triggered it, look for the message or positive actions you can take and then at the very least list off some things you are really lucky to have in your life. It takes practice, like going to the gym, you have to exercise your gratitude muscles to really get them firing on all cylinders and pumped up!
3. What are your suggestions for daily reminders to BeGlad?
I know a lot of people scoff at this but if you have never been taught to be grateful the way I was, and it doesn’t come naturally then try keeping a gratitude journal. I challenge you to do it consecutively for 30 days and tell me you don’t feel better. List three things that happened that day you are glad of. It could be as simple as finding five minutes to drink a whole cup of coffee in peace. Also, list three things you did for others, and again, this could be something as small as smiling at an elderly person or sending a text message to a friend. If you didn’t manage any good turns then it certainly makes you try harder the next day, there is a lot of joy in doing things for others. Feel free to choose the time of day you do this too. If you are too tired in the evening do it in the morning, it’ll set you off on the right foot for the day. In fact, why not take five minutes before you get out of bed to simply set your intention for the day?
4. How do you think BeGlad could work within the military family environment?
It’s hard being away from friends and family for both personnel and their spouses and children. It’s only natural to feel sad when you have to do without something that you have become accustomed to. It’s only natural for feelings of resentment, anger, grief etc to bubble up. Firstly remember you are made of tough stuff, congratulate yourself, you are doing so well, be kind to yourself and others. You have so much to live for, life really IS short, don’t waste your days feeling sad. Your feelings are exactly that – YOUR feelings, you can choose how you react to any given situation. Keep a journal as a family, in the evenings while you are having your dinner take it in turns to say what you are glad about. You could write it in a family diary or on a piece of paper and pop it in a jar. That way you could empty it out each New Year (or quarterly if you can’t wait!) and reflect and feel good about how far you have come.
5. Do you think BeGlad helps empower you, if so, how?
Yes definitely! If you practice every day to look for positive things it will lift your mood and have a snowball effect. Like I said before, your feelings are YOUR feelings, they are the way you have chosen to react to a situation and you can choose to change them too. It won’t always happen overnight, just like one salad won’t make you thin but give it time and perseverance and you will see the results. I’ve been so lucky to meet some really inspiring people already and I’m in talks with more, I love that they want to share their stories to help motivate and encourage others. It fills me with positive energy and I hope that by following the BeGlad Movement the positivity will have a ripple effect – sorry to pinch your pun there!!
The Instagram and twitter handle is @begladmovement
Facebook is www.facebook.com/pg/begladmovement
Website is www.beglad.co.uk