As a whole, our society is very bad at saying “no.” Instead, we say “yes” to everything, over-commit, and exhaust ourselves. Learning to say “no” is a valuable skill and is beneficial to your mental health.
Saying yes to everything is mentally taxing.
While some things are obligations, like work events, it’s critical to set boundaries in other areas of your life. Even psychologists agree that most adults are awful at setting boundaries and saying “no.”
The fact is, always saying yes leads to burnout. Not only does stress have an impact on your mental state, but decreases productivity, effects happiness, and can even lead to physical symptoms. It’s time to stop glorifying “yes” and start practicing self-care.
These strategies can make learning to say “no” a bit easier.
Something has brought you to the point of saying to yourself, “I need to learn to say no.”
To start saying no, you must be more self-aware. Check-in with yourself. Are you sleeping well? Are taking care of your nutritional needs? Are you annoyed with social interaction? Do you just plain need a break?
When you begin tuning into your physical and mental needs, an amazing thing happens: we give ourselves permission to say no.
First, start by setting limits. If you’re already feeling drained and exhausted, your limits may be more strict than someone who hasn’t yet reached the tipping point.
An example of a reasonable limit is: “Every Wednesday, I’m going to make myself dinner, watch TV, and read a book.”
Once a plan is in place, don’t waiver. If a friend asks you about attending a social event on a Wednesday night, you have plans. Setting limits is a great way to start saying “no.”
Saying “no” doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Start by saying “no” to little things. Maybe it’s a coffee date that’s a little inconvenient, or a work meeting that feels rushed.
Be confident and assertive. Remember, saying no, even to the little things, is beneficial to your mental health.
In no way are we suggesting that you say no to everything. Life is to be experienced, which is something the entire Kersenbrock Chiropractic team embraces. What we are saying is that learning to say “no” is valuable to your overall health.