I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t considered a ‘Pollyanna.’  

I do believe I was born with something weird, like a ‘Pollyanna’ gene.  

You know the type, those often really annoying people who somehow manage to find something to be happy about in just about every situation.

Yep. That’s me.  

Well mostly that’s me.

Wait, no that’s always me, it’s just that some things in life needed a lot of time before I found something to be glad about.

The loss of my husband at an all too early age for instance.  

And I bet you’re wondering what on earth could she find to be happy about in that.

As I say it took a lot of time before I realized I was happy that I was given the privilege of holding his hand when he passed away.  Not everyone gets that.

So it’s fair to say I’ve stumbled and tumbled backwards on occasions with staying positive when life is hard.

And that’s a good thing for this article, because I get to share with you the most effective and best habits I’ve learned over more years than I’m willing to say here.

Some things are just best kept to ourselves. 🙂

Take your time if you want to stay positive in challenging times

In my challenging periods, I’ve found that if I was in too much of a hurry as I moved through the world, things didn’t always go as well as I’d like.

And it seemed as though I never had enough time to live life, let alone find something to be happy about.

But if I remembered to slow down and take my time things turned out better.

Sometimes it was a question of making myself slow down by eating more slowly and moving around more slowly.

Because the brilliant thing about that is not only does your body slow down but your mind gets calmer to boot.

That’s when you discover it becomes easier to find a purposeful, constructive perspective where something happy tends to be found. Leading, of course, to you managing to stay positive when life is harder than you ever thought possible.

I highly recommend giving yourself more life to have time for.

Don’t make mountains out of molehills

When you think about how tiny a molehill is, it’s hard to see them as being mountainous, at least intellectually.

Even though they can be really annoying when they turn up in your garden.  And how do I know this you might be asking.

Because years back, in England we lived next to a forest and the local resident moles decided our lovely english garden was a great place to tunnel.  

Hence lots of molehills. And annoying as they are, mountains they are not.

But it is easy to lose perspective, especially if you’re stressed out over said molehills.

So how to keep them as mere molehills?

Deflate them by asking yourself one simple question.  

“Who on the planet is having a worse day than me?”

This gives us a more reasonable view of reality and it’s easier to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.  Which I’ve found to be the best way out of any mountain building moments I might find myself in.

It’s amazing how expanding your view of the world shrinks those wanna be mountains back into tiny molehills.  Try it.  You’ll find it to be so.

Create a positive environment

Alexander Den Heijer said “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”   How true is this?

To maintain your sense of the wonder and beauty of the world and to be able to find things to be glad and happy about you need to have influences that raise you up, not drag you down.

So guard your mind, be cautious what you’re willing to dwell on because everything that gets your undivided attention, even things that aren’t true, will eventually become a part of your reality.

Sorry, that’s just the way the Universe works.  I wish I had a little more control over the Universe…but since I don’t, the best thing I discovered I could do was to keep my attention and imagination on the things I’d be happy to experience.   At least as much as I could.  

And you dear one, should do the same if you want to stay positive even when life is hard.

Next be cautious about the three people you spend the most time with.  Are they positive Pollys or negative Nancys?

Are they toxic to your mind, heart and soul?  Be honest. If the answer is yes, you know what you need to do.

Finally a really easy, wonderful and fragrant way to create an uplifting, happy atmosphere

Use the power of nature, in the shape of essential oils.

Here’s some of the best essential oils for feeling happy, optimistic and inspiring confidence and courage when hard times are taking their toll on your life.

Sit back and enjoy the soothing, calming atmosphere diffusing these oils can bring.

Remember hard times don’t turn any of us into heroes, they just reveal the hero already there.

Joy for relationships

Deep, lasting happiness lies in meaningful social relationships, and you’ll find that those who manage to be positive even when things are hard often have a strong, supportive network around them.

Joy™ creates similar feelings of warmth and happiness when diffused.




Tangerine for optimism

There’s no getting away from it…life throws us curve balls every now and then…and they can be difficult to deal with. 

But if you can be the one who manages to find something to be glad about even in those difficult times, those hard times don’t seem quite so challenging.

Tangerine helps create a happy outlook with its delightful sweet, citrus aroma.  Diffusing it or rubbing a few drops between your hands and inhaling the scent will help give you a cheerful, upbeat outlook, even when the spirit of optimism seems a million miles away!




Valor for courage

When you have something to aspire to, it’s easier to keep a hopeful outlook for your future.

And this helps you to stay positive even when life is hard.

Valor® known for its uplifting and affirming aroma is a great one for courage in reaching for your dreams.

Such an important part of living purposefully which in turn, is an important part of a happy, purposeful life.





And now what?

My best advice? Just move forward a little at a time. And if you fall short of finding the happy things in your experiences…that’s okay…try remembering these quotes of mine.

“You are uniquely wonderful.   Embrace who you are.   Love who you are and that love will radiate into the world attracting more for you to love.”

“You can’t make everyone happy.  You’re not a slice of chocolate cake!”

“If you’re still winging, it remember that’s what angels do.”

And then go out and encourage one another. 

There’s nothing quite like supporting someone else in their challenges to make your own challenges seem…well…less challenging.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Elle, I appreciate how real you are in this post. Because it can be hard to find the positive when we meet the big upsets of life, as we all do. But I’m inspired that you stuck with it. More than ever, I see how what we think and feel is so much a habit of mind, and one we can change. So thanks for this inspiration and encouragement to stay positive no matter what.

    • You are so right Sandra…it is incredibly hard sometimes to find the positives during those big upsets that life throws our way on occasion. I truly think that having a belief that something wonderful comes out of everything helps me to see the good, and not always immediately, but eventually in some cases. And it doesn’t hurt that I have this Pollyanna gene! 🙂

  2. I definitely was not born with the “Polly Anna” gene, but I have learned to look for and find the good in my life and in seemingly “bad” situations.

    I don’t believe we always need to be positive. I believe it’s healthiest to allow ourselves to feel our feelings and then work with our thoughts to encourage and support a more optimistic view to move forward. Like you said, you just need to allow yourself the time you need to get there – no matter how long it takes.

    • I hear you Debbie about not ‘needing’ to be positive. However I will say that being positive feels so much better than not to me. I always look to kids who have this uncanny ability to be upset and disappointed about something, and having felt the feeling, they just let it go. It’s too bad that we adults somehow mostly lost that ability along the way. 🙂

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