Admiral William McRaven, author of “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World,” explains how making your bed every morning can have a positive impact on your well-being and behavior throughout the rest of the day.
McCraven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, relayed several lessons he has learned in 36 years as a Navy SEAL, starting with some advice that was music to the ears of exasperated mothers everywhere.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
The human brain is wired to favor routine over novelty, even if that routine is unhealthy. A recent study published in the journal Neuron(link is external) found that habits and goals are stored differently in the human brain. Specifically, a region known as the orbitofrontal cortex is responsible for converting wishful goals into solid, automatic habits via the neural messengers known as endocannabinoids.