Just Say No for Better Mental Health

Just Say No

If you are anything like me, you often have trouble saying no, and find yourself in very stressful situations. Here are just a few instances where it is beneficial to learn to say no. Once you master these things, life will become just a little bit easier.

Just say no:

1) When your schedule is already packed tight

This one goes for both work and personal life. We all hate to disappoint others, but when we overextend ourselves, it typically leads to mental and physical health concerns. I, like many others, have often overextended myself to the point of anxiety, panic attacks, weight gain or loss, lack of sleep, etc.

Not too long ago, I updated my Facebook status to say something like this: It should be a sign when you look forward to your 9 to 5 as a chance to get a break from all of your other responsibilities. I am learning, slowly but surely, that there is no positive trade-off for consistently overextending. Take the time to stop and evaluate what is most important.

Learn to say no when necessary. If not for yourself, then do it for those who love you and need you to remain healthy.

2) To negative people

This one can be tough; especially if/when negative people live in your house, attend your church, and/or work with you. It does not take long for negative people to drain you. Energy transfers, even negative energy. Have you ever noticed how certain people can walk into the room and the mood changes for the worse?

Align yourself with people who are positive, even in the face of adversity. Also, make sure you are that person. If you are struggling with your mood on a certain day, spend some time with someone who is positive. It will surprise you at how fast it turns your day around.

Say no to negative people. Keep in mind the old saying, misery loves company. Also, remember that whether or not we like it, people perceive us by the company we keep. Make sure you are adding value to your life by choosing your associations wisely.

3) To certain situations

Have you ever heard someone say, “It just happened?” This may be because they put themselves in a situation that they knew had the potential to go wrong. Example: If you are married, say no to invitations from a single person of the opposite sex, especially when you know very well that you are attracted to them.

Another example would be accepting an invitation to happy hour if you are a recovering alcoholic. This may sound like I am joking around, but I am quite serious. It is alright to say no to your friends if it puts you in a situation where you have to fight very hard to resist temptation. The stronger move is staying out of the environment in the first place. There will be other opportunities to spend social time with your friends, away from the bar.

The things, and people, we should say no to will vary from person to person, but the principle is the same. Put yourself in healthy environments only. Sometimes it is necessary to stretch ourselves, but often we only do it because we have a problem saying no. Learn when it is in your best interest, and your family’s best interest, to say no to other people or to certain situations.

Additional Tip: My mother taught me never to loan anyone money unless you can afford to simply give it to them. This does not mean that you should not collect on loaned funds. However, do not loan someone the last of your resources if you know you will not have a way to meet your own needs, or your family’s needs if the person does not pay you back as agreed. If the person asks, and you cannot afford to give the money away, then your answer should be: NO.

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