« | Archives | »

A Surprising Secret to Happier Days

September '13

A couple of months ago I came across a surprising ingredient to a happy life. Happiness is a compelling goal for many these days as ongoing research links it to all kinds of other rewards. According to an article in “Psychology Today,” these benefits include higher earnings, better immune-system functioning and boosts in creativity. Who doesn’t want some of that?

The surprising secret to happiness I discovered was that people who make their beds every day are happier than those who don’t. In a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, 71% of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62% of non-bed-makers report being unhappy.

Now you and I know that correlation is not causation – just because more happy folks make their beds every day and more unhappy folks don’t, doesn’t mean making your bed will make you happy. But it hints at the possibility, so why not give it a try? Or perhaps you already engage in this daily happiness-making secret.

It’s easy to understand that a freshly made bed can bring a more peaceful atmosphere to your bedroom. According to the ancient practice of Feng Sui, a calm, uncluttered environment frees up your energy. If you would like to learn more about how decluttering your physical environment can enhance your life and more specifically how to clear out your own clutter, WEEK 7 of my eCourse, “Reinvent Your Life ~ Write Now,” will provide you with personalized exercises to do just that.

There’s another reason making your bed each day might increase happiness. When you make your bed, you mark the end of the previous night, which allows you move more easily onto the day’s activities. Any ritual that brings closure to an activity supports the transition to the next one – whether it’s a story to help a child fall asleep at night, or that first sip of coffee to start the day.

So what do you think about this bed-making secret. How often do you make your bed?

(a) Every day.
(b) Most days.
(c) Once in a while.
(d) Only when the sheets get changed.
(e) I don’t make my bed someone else does.

I must admit that before I read this research, I answered “most days,” but now I’m hitting almost every day. What about you? How often do you make your bed? If you answered (a), do you think bed-making enhances your day? If you answered (b) – (e) do you think bed-making could improve your day?

Love to hear from you,
Bonnie

 

4 Comments

  1. Mary Guay said on September 26, 2013:

    Hi Bonnie,
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about being happy. I agree that Feng Shui has some good common sense ideas about clearing clutter and keeping the energy flowing and so making one’s bed will contribute to that.
    My thoughts about making one’s bed is : which came 1st the chicken or the egg? Do people who aren’t happy have a way of not attending to life in the same way they would if they were happy? By doing the things that we usually do when we’re happy, will we be able to act ourselves into being happy?
    I make my bed every day……and as the saying goes: “you’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it”.
    Enjoy!
    Mary Guay, http://www.maryguay.com

  2. Bonnie said on October 1, 2013:

    Hi Mary!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I concur that we have a chicken/egg problem here. Great question as to whether we can “act ourselves into happy.” I have been surprised by the research on smiling that suggests we can do just that. Evidently, the simple act of smiling can cause us to feel happy. At the very least it cannot hurt. I’m still in wait-and-see mode with regard to the research conclusions in this area. But think why not pick up habits that might make you happy like making your bed every day.
    Time to go make my bed: )
    Bonnie

  3. Kate Harper said on October 4, 2013:

    I never made my bed. We were required to make it as kids and it is my small rebellion! However I might try this. I am a happy gal and a little more happiness is always welcome. Another thought. I notice that when I am taking excellent care of myself I floss every day, but when I am in a bit of a slump I don’t. Could flossing jump start other great self care activities?

  4. Bonnie said on October 6, 2013:

    Hi Kate!
    Loved hearing about your bed-making rebellion and your query about flossing. Who knows, it may make a difference! If you try the bed-making experiment, I’d love to know the results.
    Thanks so much for your comments,
    Bonnie

Leave a comment