Sunday, April 26, 2015

Channelling the Pollyanna Principle

I learnt a new word recently: Pollyanna, a term given to a person who maintains an unbreakable positive outlook on life.

The Pollyanna principle is when you tend to remember pleasant items more potently than unpleasant ones, and sustain this bias towards being optimistic, no matter what gets in your way. 

I used to be like this, before my anxiety levels were increased by having three high-energy, death-defying kids, working really hard and having zero time for myself. It’s amazing how extended periods of hard work, selflessness and stress can eek away at your positive energy lifeforce and drag your vibrational energy down.

I read recently that studies have shown that negative influences can often outweigh the positive 4 to 1, which means that if you allow the negative to cloud your judgement then you need four positives to pick you up. When we are under stress, we don't handle the negative very well so it can eat away inside us, so that's why thinking positive thoughts and not dwelling on the bad can be the best tonic for anxiety.

Thankfully, now that my youngest is nearly four, I’m starting to really enjoy them and not give out so much, I'm getting some breathing space, and I'm regaining that lost sense of joy inside myself. So long Mrs Serious, hello good-time funny mummy. 
Thankfully, I don't have to deal with a tantrum a minute anymore; I don’t have to scream at (2 out of 3 of) them to stop running in front of cars; and I don’t have to carry them and all their stuff around anymore. In fact, every day they’re surprising me by how helpful, polite and capable they can be when they try. Yes, I’m actually starting to have moments of pure joy with them, which is helping to soothe the overwhelmed feeling I've had since I found myself with 3 under 3 a few years back.  

I’m starting to think more positively again now. I’m taking a herbal pill to give me more energy and help with my anxiety (Ashwaganda), doing a spot of mindfulness, and I’m finding the scary thoughts about something bad happening to my kids are lessening (do they ever go away?). 

And I’ve found a new role model for my new happy-go-lucky ambition in life: the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Now, normally I would hate cheesy American satirical comedies like this, but for some reason, the enthusiasm Kimmy has for life is infectious. She lived in a cult for 15 years, imprisoned underground by a religious nutter who told her the world had ended, but now she has rejoined life in New York City and despite everything, always sees the good in people. 

"Life beats you up you can either crawl up into a ball and die, or you can stand up and say you can't break us.”

Kimmy Schmidt: New Folk hero of our times

Last year I was all about trying to be more assertive like Claire Underwood. This year, I find her too cold and unfeeling, and I’m drawn instead to the effervescent Kimmy, who doesn’t overthink things, finds positive solutions to everything and refuses to be broken.
She’s my new folk hero!
“Be you, be what you want to be. And then become unbreakable.”

Oh and I love the theme tune, it's so damn catchy! You can watch it here:

Who is your current role model? Do you have one?

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an original Netflix series. I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team Ireland.

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