Make Your Bed Psychology

Not too long ago I used to wake up every day completely oblivious to how my bed would looked like. Pillows on the ground, blankets over the headboard, and bedcover half undone. The only thing that I would make sure to be intact the morning after is the bedcover from the apparent 10 laps of backstrokes that I’ve done during my slumber. Sure, I’ve heard about these weird people that actually made their bed every morning but I thought to myself, just like any rational person would, “it’s a bed… why does it matter? I’m going to mess it up again tonight anyways”

But I recently moved into an apartment about a month ago, and for some unknown reason, I ended up browsing the internet on a whim on the art of making your bed. Since then I haven’t skipped a day without making my bed even though 9 out of 10 times I never looked forward to it. Even though I did not enjoy the process of doing it on most days, I did it anyway. Through my digging, I found that there were some science-backed studies on why we all should make this a part of our daily ritual. Let us explore the reasons why we all should cultivate the habit of making your bed every morning (or any other time depending on what shift you work).

Table of Contents

Start Your Day Off Correctly

Navy Seal Admiral Shares Reasons to Make Bed Everyday

Take it from Naval Admiral William McRaven, author of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World, said this during his commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014:

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”

Sure, making your bed seems like a dull task and many of us sees it as a mundane effort but this will start your day off on the right foot. Making sure to accomplish this simple task first thing in the morning will set the tone (and gain positive momentum) for the rest of your day and will prep you to be ready to conquer the world.

How often do we walk across a room in a hurry to avoid seeing the mess that is clutter? Even if we want to admit it or not, our physical space does affect our mental wellbeing. A messy space can have negative effects on our capacity for concentration, the life force that is qi, and the ability to foster a peace of mind. For those of us that have an eagerness to achieve success in our lives, a clean physical environment is necessary.

By making your bed, you’re decluttering your bedroom and will likely encourage you to tidy up this area in order to invite a more positive energy into this space. By cleaning up your physical space you’ll gain an inner peace within yourself that will undoubtedly affect the way you carry yourself in your relationship with others and how you proceed to interact with the world.

It’s increasingly becoming easy to fall prey to our impulses, feeling the “need” to check and clear our notifications from our smartphone every chance we get. We’re living in a time where it feels like we’re watching our sense of self-control waving goodbye to us. When you engage in the act of making your bed first thing after you wake up, you’re exercising this self-control muscle. According to a 2013 study conducted by Wilhelm Hofmann, people with a lot of self-control are happier than their impulsive counterparts.

Contrary to what many may think, self-discipline is an acquired behavior that must be practiced on a daily basis. Wilhelm Hofmann and his team of researchers at the University of Chicago stated that “among humankind’s most valuable assets” is self-control. The subjects who embodied this quality didn’t allow their choices to be swayed by their feelings or impulses. For instance, these types of people don’t waste time contemplating whether or not to have seconds on that delicious piece of cake. You can say that they’re impervious to such petty temptation which in turn enables them to be content and happier… I guess more cake for us..?

Not all of us have the luxury to find both the time and space to meditate every day. Some of us have children to attend to and their lives can be like clockwork. A principle of mindfulness is observing our own thoughts without judgment or criticism. Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways with any seemingly “boring” tasks such as folding our clothes, washing the dishes, cleaning our home, and even making our bed. 

The more we practice being in the “here and now” with what we’re doing, the more we’re able to overcome the incessant mental chatter and tap into the space of complete awareness.  As we exercise our mindfulness muscle on a regular basis, we might find that doing such “mundane” tasks such as making our bed, less of a nuisance and more of a satisfying activity.

Once I’ve gotten into the ritual of making my bed every day, I found that I wanted to keep my bedroom neat all together. For bedrooms, the bed is the focal point of the entire room and oftentimes takes up the most space. Since the bed is already made and looks neat, it becomes a compulsory urge to keep everything else in order. Clothes on the floor now set off alarms in my head and I immediately put them where it’s no longer an eyesore. Surfaces and mirrors that are collecting dust are taken cared of as soon as my peripheral catches them. Is there such a thing as a healthy obsessive-compulsive disorder? Probably not, but having the urge for general congruency is fine right?

On the surface, the act of making your bed every day may seem frivolous, trivial, and a waste of time. Some days we just don’t feel like doing it due to our laziness; other days we don’t have time because we’re on a tight schedule. No truly sane person actually wakes up and feel motivated to make their bed (I still dread it on most days). If we wait around for motivation to kick in to accomplish anything, we’ll probably be waiting for a while; motivation can take a backseat to discipline. Start your day off on the right foot and just try it out for 30 days, this simple change in your morning routine can have a huge positive impact on both your life and wellbeing. So give it a whirl. Your mind will thank you for it.

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Tommy P.
Tommy P.

My very first thought when I became aware of my very own consciousness in this earthly world was... "whoa... why are we here? what's the meaning or purpose to life?" I was never able to shake these questions... So come join me on my podcast of rants on many different topics that will assist you in seeing things through a rose-colored lens and on living a life of well-being.

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