Managing stress: What do you want to say “yes” to?

People who are good at managing stress, tend to be good at knowing their limit and saying no to things that they know will push them into an unhealthy stress range.

But saying no can be incredibly hard for many of us, with the result that we so often end up doing things that we would have preferred to say no to.

What if, instead of telling yourself that you need to say ‘no’ more, you make a commitment to yourself to only say ‘yes’ to those things that you really want to do and that you know won’t trigger unhealthy stress for you?

In other words, when life is already busy and full, and someone asks you to e.g. be on the fundraising committee at school, ask yourself:

  • Is this something I really want to do?

  • Do I have the time, energy and resources to do that (without having to compromise on my free time or self care time)?

If it’s not a resounding ‘Yes!’ to both questions, it’s quite likely that whatever you are asked to do is not in alignment with your goals and values.

Knowing that if you say yes, you won’t be true to yourself (which is stressful in itself) and will have to compromise on the things that keep you healthy and well, will make it much easier to say no when faced with these requests.

If you still struggle to say no, reflect on the following:

  • What am I afraid will happen if I say no?

  • Will it really be as bad as I am telling myself?

  • Will it still matter in a year’s time

“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” – Mahatma Ghandi

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