Say No to Stressing Out!

Say No to Stressing Out!
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

What if you could manage stress better just by using a single word? For nearly everyone, this is possible. As a recent Lark DPP check-in pointed out, all you need to do is learn to say “no!”

Why Say “No?”

You are a nice person and you want to help others. Why would you say no if they ask you to do something?

Most of us have a lot to do and a limited amount of to do it. Adding an extra task or two to your day, or doing people favors that take time or that you simply do not want to do, can make your stress less manageable. Well-managed stress can be beneficial, but overwhelming stress can cause negative health effects.

When to Say, “No!”

The best times to say no can include the following.

  • When saying no helps someone else. Saying no can allow you to perform your current work better or focus more on your family compared to saying yes and being overburdened.
  • When saying no supports your health and well-being. Poorly-managed stress, brought on by doing too much, to do can lead to physical and emotional health concerns such as infections, higher blood pressure, and anxiety.
  • When saying no is good for someone else. Sometimes, letting someone else do it gives them the opportunity to grow or shine.
  • When saying no is good for your growth. Cutting back on certain commitments can allow you to try new things.
  • When saying yes gives you no apparent benefit.

How to Say, “No!”

It is not easy to say no to people, but these tips can help.

  • Be firm. You may need to repeat yourself several times, especially if you already have the reputation of saying yes to everything.
  • Be brief. The more you talk, the more the other person might perceive that you are unsure of yourself or that you feel bad for saying no. 
  • Make it about yourself. Say, “I cannot fit this in,” or “I do not have time for this,” rather than saying “You can ask someone else,” or “You do not need me to do this.” You know yourself best, and nobody can argue.
  • Agree to a compromise. If you are unsure about committing to being on the company softball team for the entire season, offer only to fill in for a game if they are short a player.
  • Offer a reason. Offer a reason that is non-debatable. “I do not have time,” “I already have another commitment,” or “I’m already doing all that I feel comfortable doing,” all work fine.
  • Or don’t. You do not need to give any reason. Your health is what matters, and nobody can tell you otherwise.