Living in a positive way is not an option – it is how it should be. It is not natural to live in stress, anxiety and misery. What is not natural for us will never be healthy. Thus, what we think has a direct link to our health. If you think you are not living in peace, it is time to change your life.

Are we are doing it all wrong?

Nikita works in the for a well known FMCG firm. Her day starts with the alarm clock rudely waking her up. She draws a decent salary but she can save little out of it. She comes home late from the office and is too tired to catch up on the rest of life. She spends most of her money shopping, watching films and eating outside on weekends to relieve the stress of the whole week. She likes to travel but does not have enough time or the resources to do so. She feels lethargic and unmotivated frequently but she hopes that one day she will get over it and have enough money to live a better life.

This is the typical story of many office goers. Too tired and too stressed to think outside the box. It is only when there is a crisis that we truly shake up and think what on earth we are doing. Do not wait for an extreme moment to change your life.

But it is easy to say it than to live it. Since we wake up we start thinking. We think what tasks we have to do today, how we will be travelling for work, what challenges need to be faced. Instantly, the body gets a signal to be prepared for a challenge. Unfortunately this happens almost every day. We are working for money and survival. No wonder we all wait for the weekend to come so that we can get some life.

We try to escape this prison by taking to smoking, partying and drinking. A temporary distraction at the best to help you survive the coming week. But this is not the way you could change your life.

What is worse than this is to have to tolerate nasty and toxic people. They try your patience, make you feel angry and they are everywhere. Two things happen – either we give in and become like them or we react and feel the grudge.

Related: How to identify and avoid toxic people

It is critical for every one of us to be aware that we are slipping into a dull and negative life. If we are not alert, we enter the danger zone called ‘desensitization’. You simply stop feeling – the good or bad, joy or nastiness. We start getting dulled.  Do not let this happen to you. This is where depression and mental disorders might creep in without our knowing. At this point, it becomes doubly difficult to change your life or face the roll downwards.

How to shift instantly from negative to positive

Anand also works in the same office. About six months ago, he felt a slight pain in his heart. The doctor said that this could be an early sign of heart problem. But he was only 30!

He earns almost the same as Nikita and spends as much time in office. Anand started to feel that his health was going down. All through his life in school and college he has been active. He would bicycle and play cricket for long hours. Now he travels by a motorbike to the office and cannot climb too many stairs. His personal life has been rough recently, he had been through a breakup. To catch up with colleagues, he has been smoking and drinking more often. He was starting to look old and tired. He was only 30 yet his body felt like it was like twenty years more.

When the doctor warned Anand about his failing health, he was scared and worried. He did not want the rest of his life scared and worried too. He decided to change his lifestyle. He wanted something better. He did not know how he would do it.

# Start with small steps

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.- Vincent van Gogh

Anand knew that any drastic change would only make life more stressful. So he sat down in a quiet place. He took a deep breath and calmed himself. He took a pen and paper and wrote down what are the things he did not like about his life. Everything he could think of – people, activities, his habits and so on. The list started slowly but then the things that came up surprised him. He had never thought this way.

He had never imagined that he was doing so many things that he did not like. He was smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day. If he did not, he felt peculiar and restless. What had started as a harmless little thing had made him its slave. He cut through it and decided to bring it to 5 per day. He started striking through more, and beside it wrote what he wanted instead. After a few lines of doing this, he was starting to feel better.

Watch what you do all day, no matter how big or small. Focus on what you like to do. Do what makes you happy. If you cannot change anything, do not fret over it. But you can always shift your attention to something that makes you feel nice. These small steps will change your vibes and change your life.

Related: Need something positive? 10 Louise Hay lines to lift your spirits

# Watch where you spend your time

A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company. – Charles Evans Hughes

Anand was a social guy. He liked to meet up friends and party in the weekends. But he realized that he was meeting less ‘friends’ and more people with whom he wanted to maintain a ‘social relationship’. He never realized that a habit such as this made his life so complicated. It was necessary to ‘maintain’ for corporate relations, but his life had been hijacked.

He decided to meet and spend time with those friends and people with whom he could be himself. No pretensions, no guards, no give and take. Where he could just relax and have a good time.

Anand learned an important lesson in life. The company that you keep matters – a lot. The company that you keep moulds you. You start behaving, talking and eating without even being aware of it.

To change your life, you may have to take some tough decisions. You may have to choose between your priorities. There is no one else to tell you except you.

# Keep life simple

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. – Steve Jobs

Happiness does not depend on stuff all the time. For Anand, life had become dependent on how expensive his watch was and what brand of clothes to wear. Looking and living good is important but it should not start to dominate you. Remember you are the master of what you own and not the other way around.

The more dependent you are on things and stuff to keep you happy, the more you will get entangled in it. If you keep on thinking that by buying branded stuff you can change your life for the better, you are living an illusion.

No one can tell you exactly how to keep your life simple. It depends where the individual puts his attention and how he spends his time. What is important is the desire to make life simple. Actually living an uncomplicated life is the secret to happiness. It is the most effective way to change your life and live a healthy and cheerful life.

Related: 10 motivational books that will change your life