1. Choose to wake up earlier.
The Difference. More Productive.
Every time I make the effort to wake up earlier I tend to find I am more productive and focused throughout the day, so I wasn't too surprised to find a study that supported this. Harvard Biologist Christopher Randler conducted a study in 2010 that found early risers are more proactive than those who press the snooze button. The reason is that the early risers would often spend this extra time in the morning planning and prioritising activities that needed to be done that day in a calm and orderly manner — rather than those who frantically run out the door with a piece of toast in their mouth, straight into the working day without clear objectives and direction.
How can you become an early riser? There are a lot of ideas on how to do this, however I've found the most simple and effective way is to place your phone (alarm clock) on the other side of the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you're up, have a big glass of water and get outside for a walk.
2. Choose the vegetarian option more often.
The Difference. Good for the environment and will save you money.
Some time ago while I was trying to choose a meal while out to lunch with friends, I was struck by the number of meat options I could choose from on the menu, and it made me realise how we're able to choose to eat a meat of some type at every meal of every day. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, chicken salad sandwich for lunch, a beef stir-fry for dinner. That's three animals that had to be killed just for those three meals. That's 21 animals a week, 1,092 animals a year. This obviously disturbed me, particularly after I came to realise that production of meat is also the number one emitter of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere (22% of the 36 billion!). It turns out a hamburger beef patty generates as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000-pound car 16 kilometres.
I'm not saying you have to become vegan, just that maybe next time you're out for a meal or grabbing some takeaway, take a look at the vegetarian option. You'll often find that it's also a cheaper alternative.
3. Laugh for no reason.
The Difference. It'll make you live longer
Laughter produces protective hormones, regulates blood pressure, reduces the effects of stress and helps boost the immune system. How good is that!! Hahahaha. In fact a 2006 Norwegian study found people who laughed more had a 30 per cent better chance of survival when severe disease strikes. Even fake or forced laughing is good for you. "Forced laughter is a powerful way to regularly boost ones mood and psychological wellbeing." Charles Schaefer, Psychology Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
So go on, have a big belly laugh. It might just save your life :)
4. Get in the ocean more.
The Difference. It'll make you feel and look better.
There are numerous health benefits to going for a plunge in the ocean. It increases blood circulation, joint movement and improves your skin. However, I find there's also a deeper, more holistic benefit to submerging yourself in the big blue. For me it's a type of cleansing. Here's the best scientific explanation I found to support this. Dr Arnout Ter Schure
"The ocean is likely the oldest element on our planet; the element all life is made from, and will return to. Armed with this knowledge it is easier to understand why we mirror the ocean’s chemical composition. For example, 70% of our body is saltwater, our blood and brain have almost the same chemical composition as the sea, and our brain actually 'floats' in saltwater. This evolutionary connection may already explain why the ocean is such a magnet and why she makes us feel good: we are literally in a state of balance in her presence.
Sounds spot on to me Doctor.
5. Listen to good music.
The Difference. Good for the soul.
I remember reading somewhere that music is medicine for the soul and I couldn't agree more. There's not many things that can have such an instantaneous effect on a person's mood. Music is one of them. Take a look at this clip and the power that music has on this man's soul.
So, next time you're feeling a little flat, stressed or frustrated, slip on some headphones and take a couple minutes to listen to your favourite tunes.
6. Re-fill/Reuse water bottle.
The Difference. Better for the environment.
We consume around 200 billion bottles of water a year. That's 547,945,205 bottles a day, 80% of which ends up in landfill. That is a pretty alarming statistic, especially when it can almost be completely avoided. Filling up a reusable bottle at the beginning of every day is simple and effective habit to get into.
Are there any small daily choices that have made a difference to you? Let us know either below in the comments section or email us.