De-Stress Your Life: Learn How To Say No

This time of year many of us take stock of the previous year, and realize we spent too much time on things that weren't important to us and our goals. 

If you find you are being asked to do things you’d prefer not to, here are some ways to say no without guilt.

“Every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ to something else,” says Gillian Butler, Ph.D., author of Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide. “Every time you agree to do something, another thing you might have done will not get done.”

Still, for most people, it’s not easy to say no. Here are a few ways to make it easier, Butler says:

Sleep on it.
Make it a rule not to commit yourself to anything important until the next day at the earliest.

Thank the person for asking.
Being polite about it will help you feel better about saying no.

Acknowledge the other person’s priorities.
“I know that it is important” or “I understand the difficulty.”

Give a clear reason for your refusal.
I am already committed to doing…” or “it would take more time than I’ve got.”

Just say no.
You don’t always have to offer an explanation.


Learn how better to respond to stress, or explore how stress affects your health, at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Health (e) Library online.

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