Can you rewind back to a few years ago when your mum pestered you to leave your room only after the bed was made? You always thought it was a waste of time – it was going to get messy all over again anyway! Well, off late, there have been several studies on how our everyday habits affect our mental health and impact our lives.
In fact, there is a bestseller by Admiral William H. McRaven titled Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life… And maybe the world that talks about how our small day-to-day actions can significantly impact our personality and help us achieve our life goals. Interestingly, there is even a day dedicated to this so-called tiny little act. ‘Make Your Bed Day’ is celebrated on September 11 every year. So, in case you find it hard to stick to this habit, starting on this day will make it that much easier.
Just as clutter and hoarding can negatively affect our well-being, the reverse is true as well. A tidy room or workspace keeps brain function stable, positively impacting our mental health. People who follow better personal hygiene are more focused and tend to achieve their goals quicker due to their overall sense of self-discipline.
There is no denying that to be a successful individual; self-discipline is a non-negotiable trait. So, it is safe to assume that making the bed is one small piece in the whole picture of being successful.
The mental health benefits of a made bed
The act of making your bed every morning offers you a range of mental health benefits. So, read ahead to get surprised on what these benefits are. They offer:
- A sense of accomplishment
- A feeling of calmness
- Improved quality of sleep
- A sense of orderliness
- Clarity of thoughts
- A relaxed mind
- Lower levels of stress
Now that we realize making a messy bed is, after all, not just a trivial chore, let’s get ready to change the world!
A sense of accomplishment
It seems too insignificant to matter, but starting the day by making your bed will give you a sense of achievement, and this can set the tone of the day. The positive vibe can start off a chain reaction, and you might just have stumbled upon the world’s simplest secret to success.
A feeling of calmness
Imagine all the rough sailing you did at work through the day. What better way to pamper yourself than to come back to a cozy and comfy bed at the end of a long day? You can get through almost anything at work when you know you have your haven waiting to welcome you back – so you can get safely wrapped up in your cocoon.
Improved quality of sleep
The visual impact of a beautifully made bed makes sleep all the more appealing. Think of all those fluffy pillows and pristine white sheets in a hotel room. Don’t they want to make you jump right in and snooze? The sight of a tidy bed sends signals to your brain to go right to sleep. And, need we say how essential sleep quality is for our mental health?
A sense of orderliness
Let’s face it. The bed takes up most of the space in any room, however big the area may be. Making the bed more aesthetically pleasing takes care of a major segment of the room. There is very little else we need to do once this is taken care of. While you are at it, you might as well pick those socks off the floor… Just saying!
Clarity of thoughts
There are no theories to prove this, but many ‘bed-makers’ will vouch for this – a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Once your bed is cleared, your head is cleared. So, making the bed is not just for those with OCD, apparently. Before starting any big assignment, project, or task (such as packing for travel), plan some time ahead for decluttering and organizing. This will ensure you know exactly where each material is, making you quick and efficient with the task that lies ahead.
A relaxed mind
Making the bed, or any mundane task for that matter, is a way to practice mindfulness – the act of being aware of your feelings and living in the present. Our mind tends to wander to the past or race ahead to the future. To improve our mental state, we need to train our minds to be in the present moment instead of going on autopilot mode. Applying this technique can bring in the sense of peace and contentment.
Lower levels of stress
Existing in a messy environment can make you feel overwhelmed. Contrarily, living in an organized space makes you less stressed by avoiding last-minute scrambles. So, not just your bed, you could slowly extend this habit to all areas of your life once you get a hang. This will help you feel empowered and on top of things.
We are constantly striving to achieve our goals and make our dreams come true. Indeed, it is completely fine to feel dispirited sometimes. After all, life is unpredictable.
Be wary of the small things you do. Your keystone habits are what make you “YOU.” Whether to make the bed or not is your personal choice – but with so much evidence pointing to better mental health by just ticking this one tiny thing off your to-do list, it may be worth making a start.
With a balanced state of mind, you are ever ready to take on everyday challenges head-on.