Stop Saying “Yes” When Your Brain is Screaming “NO!”


Have you ever had a day where you are burned out, and then someone asks you for help?

You want to say, “No.”

But, somehow, you say, “Sure; no problem.”

What happens afterwards? Is it something like, “What was I thinking? There’s no way I can handle that.” Or, “I’m so stressed but somehow I’ll make it work; I always do.” Or maybe even, “I don’t HAVE to read a book tonight or take a bath; I need to help my friend out instead.” Or the more popular monologue of, “If I don’t help them, who will?”

What are you REALLY afraid that will happen if you don’t help them?

Perhaps you will feel guilty and you want to avoid this negative feeling, so you give in. Or, you believe that the person will be mad at you because you have declined their request for help. What if you settled into the fact that it is okay if people are frustrated in the moment. It is okay if people are upset. Afterall, their anger or frustration toward you says everything about their current state of mind. Perhaps it was poor task management on their part or the fact they procrastinate. Whatever your thoughts are, be kind to yourself. You don’t have to be everything to everyone.

Every time you rescue someone who is good at procrastination, you rob them of the ability to master the skill of efficient task management.

“No” is a complete sentence.

“No” is a perfectly acceptable response to others when your body is stressed out.

Learn the signals your body is sending you.

Your brain sends signals to your body when it is stressed out. Stress can be evident in a negative mood, increased anxiety, symptoms of depression, not thinking clearly or able to focus, and defensive coping mechanisms, like an increased appetite, sugar consumption, or alcohol, etc. Stress can also be felt physically, with weight changes, physical pain, and changes in your sleep patterns, as well as getting sick more frequently.

When you start to feel overwhelmed, it is important to stop & take a mental evaluation of how you are feeling physically as well as emotionally. Awareness of your stress is the first step to taking back control of your life.

“No” is a healthy boundary.

Saying “No” may be a great place to start because you can control it. “No” is a healthy boundary for you to protect your energy and your happiness without apology. It may be awkward and uncomfortable at first, but, with time and repetition, saying “No” will become easier.