Ever heard the phrase “every little counts”? Or how “an extra 1% can make the world of difference”? Well, we’re about to showcase some of the little things you can do in your life to ultimately transform it.
We’re not talking about going to the gym twice a day, or anything else remotely rigorous – we’re talking about small life hacks. The things that might take a minute to do, but might boost you by stretches you didn’t think were imaginable.
Sound interesting? Some of them most certainly are. We’ve scoured around and found fifteen that can make the world of difference. Do them all at once and you may even boost your life by 15%. Wow…
Forget an apple a day, how about smell an orange a day…
It’s one of the most well-known pieces of “medical advice” you’re ever likely to hear (and whether or not it really works, is another matter in its entirety). However, forget the note of “an apple a day”, and start smelling oranges. That’s right; put an orange right up to your nostril.
What exactly does this achieve? Well, believe it or not, studies have been conducted which have shown that the oils contained within oranges can boost your moods, reduce anxiety and even make you more alert. If keeping fresh fruit is a challenge, look for bottles of this oil and try to massage it into your wrists.
Never take the elevator (or escalator, for that matter)
It’s a bit of an old classic, but if you have an elevator in your apartment block or at your place of work, try and resist the temptation to use it.
It might not be possible if you happen to be on the 100th floor, but most of us don’t work in buildings of such size. Instead, we can get a surprisingly good amount of exercise just by taking the stairs – it really is that easy.
Pepper your pillowcase with lavender oil
Aromatherapy has been big for several years now and rather than buying books or even hiring a professional, there’s a simple trick that can boost your quality of sleep no-end.
Try putting a tissue containing lavender oil drops into your pillowcase before bed. The result should be a much deeper and more peaceful sleep – all for little work.
Aim for an hour of sleep more – every night
On the subject of sleep, have we mentioned how crucial this is to healthy living? A lack of sleep has been associated with so many ailments and is even supposedly associated with a low life expectancy.
Therefore, at least aim to hit the pillow an hour earlier than usual. On most occasions you probably won’t achieve it, but if you can at least get a little more shut-eye you’ll be in a much better place.
Cut out sugar from your hot drinks
Some people swear by one, or even more, cubes of sugar in their teas and coffees. While it might seemingly taste disgusting if you withdraw these sweeteners, this is something that you can get used to over time.
It will probably only take a week or so to get to grips with, but by doing it you can reduce your sugar intake significantly and avoid all of the problems that can be associated with too much of this substance entering your body.
Or, if you’re the guy who takes two or three cubes per cup, at least try cutting one out. It will make all the difference and in the end, will be barely noticeable.
Use Sundays as your meal-prep day
We’re all busy – we get that. Especially when you arrive home from work, the last thing you want to do is prepare a three-course dinner which is going to satisfy you both in terms of taste and nutrition. Ultimately, most of us just don’t eat well enough.
The solution is to do all of your cooking in one sweep. Forget those lingering decisions on what to have all week, it will all be packed up in the refrigerator or freezer. Additionally, if you cook a week’s worth of food at once, you will unquestionably save time as you’ll find that you reuse a lot of ingredients and concoctions you make. It’s a win-win – for time, taste, nutrition and energy.
Arm yourself with water on every trip out of the house
Just like excess sugar has been in the headlines recently, it’s also been drilled into us about the importance of keeping hydrated. Again, countless studies have been conducted – dehydration is the cause behind everything from feeling nauseous to headaches. Ultimately, if you’re dehydrated, the quality of your day will plummet significantly.
The answer? Simply carry a bottle of water wherever you venture. You’ll find yourself glugging liquid back, even if you’re not thirsty, and that’s the key to staying hydrated.
Kill booze during the week
After a hard day at the office, there’s sometimes no better feeling than kicking back and sipping a big glass of red wine.
While this is perfectly fine from time to time, at least try and give your body some rest bite a couple of days a week. It’s crucial to retain balance and as a recent scientific study has proven, you should be looking to give your body a break from alcohol at various points through the week to give you the best chance of retaining overall health.
The dentists don’t recommend flossing for the good of THEIR health
We’re probably right in assuming that every time you venture to the dentist you’re told something about flossing.
It’s the new buzzword in dentistry and the practice can help you avoid so many teeth and gum problems. As well as keeping your mouth as fresh as can be and all of the other teeth-related benefits, there have been murmurs that flossing can help deter heart disease. Now there’s a link you never thought you’d read.
Work on that posture
This is another old classic, but again a quick fix that can improve the quality of your life no-end. This is mainly targeted towards those of you who are sat behind a desk every day, as sitting improperly can really hinder your spine.
You should be able to look directly at your monitor, whilst keeping a 90-100° gap between your front and the desk. If you have to, consider some form of ergonomic chair.
Here’s another percentage rule… this time for screen usage
Life seems to be full of percentage rules these days, and here’s another for you. This time it’s a 20/20/20 policy and should improve your eyes.
The idea is to have a twenty second break from computer screens, every twenty minutes, at something over 20 ft away in the distance. For those of you who work with technology regularly, it could have tremendous benefit for your eyes.
Hit the outdoors on your lunch break
In a bid to make the lives of workers much easier, a lot of workplaces now have canteens and kitchens which seem invaluable on lunchbreaks.
The problem is that these in-house facilities rid your body of crucial fresh air. It might not be the most convenient solution, but even wandering to the outdoors for twenty minutes every lunchtime has been found to improve people’s moods and productivity. The latter, in particular, will keep your boss smiling if nothing else.
Not eating enough veg? Green juices could be your best friend
2015 was definitely the year of green juices and smoothies and following such success, the phenomenon is likely to continue through to 2016 / 2017 as well.
This again relates to a problem we touched upon earlier; most people just don’t have time to cook extravagant meals that take our nutrtional needs into concern. It means that many of us are severely lacking when it comes to vegetables – so slurping them down in liquid format is so much more easier but just as beneficial.
Cut out takeaways, cook from fresh
On the subject of eating properly, here’s another little hint. Eating out might be easy, tasty and do wonders for your social life – but it will never beat the nutritional benefits of eating at home.
When you do venture into a restaurant, you just don’t know all of the hidden salts, fats and sugars that are in all of these meals. When you cook at home, this information is much easier to gather.
It means that you’ll be more aware of what you are eating, which should have the knock-on effect of making you consume healthier meals. Additionally, if you plan accordingly, you can overcook so you have food on other days.
Concentrate on eating, and nothing else
This final tip is perhaps one of the most bizarre, but one which could serve you very well – particularly if you’re looking for weight loss advice.
The suggestion focusses on “mindful eating”, meaning that you can forget about eating in front of the television and instead pull up a chair, in the traditional way, and sit at the table. By doing this, it’s understood that you’ll be much more aware of what’s going into your mouth and how hungry you really are. The knock-on effect is that you shouldn’t overeat.
Again, it’s a small life hack – but it could make all the difference over time.