Can a positive attitude improve your physical health?

There has and will always be much discussion about whether your attitude can change your physical wellbeing.   I truly believe it can, and so does one woman who calls herself “Pollyanna”…and she’s out to prove it.

Some of your may be familiar with the Disney movie “Pollyanna”  (based on Eleanor H Porter’s novel) which portrayed an orphan who possessed an incredible sense of happiness and positivity who was able to change a entire town with her attitude.

jpeg from Wiki

jpeg from Wiki

Well one blogger has taken her name (and her attitude) in order to change her life and is blogging about it with the hope it changes others’ lives as well.  She has started something she calls “The Pollyanna Plan” and is blogging every day for one year to fulfill it. (Just that, in and of itself, should earn her an award!)

Meet “Pollyanna”.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself

I always find these types of questions so hard to answer, but I shall give it my best shot.  I call myself Pollyanna, after the main character in Eleanor H. Porter’s novel of the same name. I’m 34 years young and I live in sunny, southern Europe by the ocean.

I love to write, to design and make things by hand, to read good books, to listen to uplifting music, to see the world, to walk my two, big rescue dogs through the countryside, to go the beach, to star-gaze and to horse-ride (I haven’t been able to this for a few years, but I intend to get back in the saddle as soon as I can!)

I love learning new things, especially about the Law of Attraction and spirituality. Oh, and I’m a Reiki healer.

2. Why did you start the Pollyanna Plan?

Good question! On the strike of midnight, as 2013 began, I made myself a promise that this year I was going to do everything in my power to re-gain good health and get my life back.  You see, I have been ill (on and off) for most of my life. At the age of 15 I was diagnosed with M.E/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I battled my way through the rest of my school life and University, and thankfully by the time I reached my mid 20’s, my health had improved sufficiently for me to be able to work full time.

Then, 6 and half years ago, my health took a rapid turn for the worse. I was working and living abroad and had to give up my job and return to my home country to live with my wonderful Mum, who has been looking after me and supporting me ever since.

A few years after this, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid) and severe autoimmunity.

During these 6 and a half long years, I haven’t been able to work, socialize, or lead a normal life. Most days I have been too ill to leave the house or see or speak to anyone, apart from my Mum.

So, back to the beginning of this year and the promise I made to myself…

In the hours leading up to midnight and the arrival of the New Year, the film Julie & Julia was shown on TV. I can’t remember the last time I was well enough to leave the house for New Year’s and this year was no exception, but now I’m incredibly grateful for it, as if I hadn’t been at home, curled up on the sofa watching Julie & Julia, the idea for The Pollyanna Plan may never have been conceived.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the film is based on the blog written by Julie Powell, who set herself the challenge to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook in 365 days.

For me, the film ignited the desire to 1) set myself a challenge and 2) write a blog – something I’d never done before and hadn’t a clue about.

Over the next few weeks, the seed of an idea brewed in my mind, and it coincided with me re-reading Lynn Grabhorn’s inspirational book, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Positive Feelings.

And suddenly one day (24th January 2013 to be precise), the idea for The Pollyanna Plan popped into my head fully formed.

Based on the Glad Game played by the fictional character in the book Pollyanna, I set myself the challenge to find a reason to feel glad/happy/joyful every day for a whole year. A sort of experiment to see whether consistent, positive, happy feelings really can improve my health and my life.


3. What kind of reactions have you gotten from people about the plan? Are they all positive?

I could never have anticipated the amazing reactions I’ve had from people! In fact, I never anticipated any reaction at all, as it didn’t occur to me that anyone would actually read my blog – I just thought that writing it down in a public forum would be a good way to make me stick to my commitment and see The Pollyanna Plan through.

All the reactions I’ve had have been extremely positive, supportive and encouraging. It really means the world to me!

4. Do you think the Pollyanna Plan is working? If so why?

I can say with 100% certainty that it is definitely working! I have just passed the half way point and my life is unrecognizable to how it was 6 months ago.  The most important thing is that my health has improved hugely. I know that some people will think to themselves that this means my illness must have been psychological, but I can assure you it’s not that at all.

Yes, ok, feeling happier, more positive and grateful, does and will make anyone feel better in themselves, but what I’ve found is that by focusing on these happy, positive feelings, I’ve attracted into my life things that have helped me to heal.

Let me give you an example; a couple of years ago my doctor had suggested I had a food intolerance test done, but at the time I dismissed the idea as the test is vastly expensive and I didn’t have much faith in it.

But, after just a few months of The Pollyanna Plan, I found that not only were all my happy, grateful feelings helping to improve my health, but they were also attracting to me little bits of money from all over the place.

On Day 46 of The Pollyanna Plan, I suddenly had a strong feeling that this test was really going to help me and I had saved up enough money to be able to pay for it. I can’t explain why, but I just knew it was the right day to go and have the test done.

A few weeks later, I received the results back and was shocked to discover there were 40 foods I was highly intolerant to, including every type of grain and cereal, dairy, eggs and lots of random things like aloe vera, peaches, peas, pears, cinnamon, mint… the list goes on!

Since cutting these foods out of my diet, my health has improved enormously.  Oh and another really cool thing about it is, my health insurance paid a large percentage of the test, even though it’s not something they usually cover. Law of Attraction in action! 😉  The Pollyanna Plan has brought so many fantastic things into my life – new friends through my blog, creative ideas and a totally new outlook on life. I have learnt that I don’t need to wait for certain conditions or circumstances to be just right (like perfect health) in order to feel happy right now, in this moment, no matter what!

I have honestly learned so much in the past 6 months and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.

5.  Do you recommend it for someone going through a tough time for whatever reason?

Absolutely!! The Pollyanna Plan works for anyone in any given situation, as long as you put it into action consistently. It really is magic!

6.  What will you do when it’s over? Is there another plan?

To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought. The one thing I know for certain is that I shall continue to live my life this way – feeling happy, positive and grateful each and every day.  I’m always coming up with new challenges though. Like my sponsorship challenge – my goal was to raise £365 for Save the Children, for 365 days of writing my blog and finding 365 reasons to feel glad/happy/joyful.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who donated, we have already reached this goal. Amazing! It is now my intention to see how much more we can raise.

I’m also in the middle of another challenge, my 31 Day Giving Challenge – I’m giving a gift every day for the month of August.

I have a few more ideas up my sleeve too, but I shall of course let you know about them through my daily posts once they are up and running! Watch this space!  🙂

Thank you for your time Pollyanna! I am truly grateful!

I highly encourage you to head over to Pollyanna’s blog and follow her as her plan continues.  In our book, Flo & I discuss the power of gratitude and finding the positive in life, not only to heal your mind, but to heal your body and promote physical health as well.

I am very grateful for having found Pollyanna.  Try her plan for just one week….finding one thing to be thankful for in the day, AND doing something nice for someone else, and see how if makes you feel.

I can’t wait to share the last day of the plan with her and celebrate her accomplishment!

Categories: health

15 replies

  1. Thank you for the great tip ~ I just starting following her!

  2. She’s very inspiring! I believe in the correlations between the mental health and physical health and sense of happiness and positivity to happiness. Thanks for the wonderful interview! I also saw Cancer Plan 4 Life. Is it you in the video? Great program!

    • Thanks! yes that’s the program that Flo and I are working on. There’s a lot of work yet to be done with getting all the web programs etc. but it’s going to be great when it’s ready!
      Thanks Kaho! I hope you are able to spend time with your beautiful family these days!

      • You’re doing great! I’m impressed by your ability to create something that will help so many people! I have been able to spend more time with my family in Mumbai. Thank you!

  3. Wow, what an inspiration!! I 100% believe a healthy attitude produces a healthy life!

  4. Wow! She sounds amazing! How many of us would have the mental energy to not only create such a public challenge but to actually do it? Kudos and best wishes to ‘Pollyanna’

  5. This is just exactly what I need to be reading. Thanks so much for introducing us to Polyanna. I’m going to be following along, and hopefully following the example too! ~Catherine


  1. The Glad/Happy/Joyful Game – Day 218 of The Pollyanna Plan | The Pollyanna Plan

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