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The Art of Saying No
Yes, You Can Say No
Today, people are connected both socially and digitally. Rings, pings and alerts beckon to be answered. These daily disruptions can leave you feeling dissatisfied and unproductive and affect your health, happiness and wellbeing.
Not being able say no, or at a minimum, prioritize parts of the day, can take a toll on anyone. Physical stressors such as obesity (no time to exercise), poor diet (fast food, or poor eating habits) or other health problems (due to being “run down”) manifest from overexertion. Other physical signs can include stomach discomfort, head, neck or back aches, sore jaw (grinding teeth) and skin breakouts.
Mental and emotional stressors can develop from caring for others. People pleasers can grow depressed since they don’t have enough time for themselves and become resentful. Other mental and emotional signs include: troubles concentrating, sleep issues, drinking (excessive) and smoking to relieve stress.
Learning to Say No
Finding balance in your life means learning some tips on how to say no. Here’s how to start:
Value your time. Know how to say “No, I can’t take on another commitment right now.” When did you take time to make your own body and mind stronger? When was the last time you worked out, meditated or practiced yoga? Say yes to boosting your own health and spirits.
Know your priorities. Is it your family? Is it a pet or a new hobby? Having extra time doesn’t mean more time to take care of others, but rather extra time to put toward what you love. Or doing nothing and recharge your own battery.
Don’t apologize. Your time is yours and you should be able to prioritize things on your list before others attempt to grab your time. Being protective is healthy and you shouldn’t feel bad about taking care of yourself first.
Leave it at maybe. If you have the option of not deciding on something immediately, say maybe. This doesn’t shut the door (no!) but lets the power remain in your hands to decide later when you’re ready.
Avoid being manipulated. Some people are people pleasers and some are controllers, getting what they want when they want it. Don’t be manipulated into saying yes when you really need to say no. Be firm and stand your ground; it’s your right to say no.
Taking care of yourself requires learning to put yourself first. From eating the right foods and exercising, to maintaining rewarding relationships, take charge and say yes to a happier and healthier you – even if that mean saying no.
source: Northwestern University – Northwestern Medicine