Stick Up for Yourself (How to Say NO)

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

 

 

Alright, I have an assignment for you today.

 

All you need is a mirror, your beautiful self, and a strong, confident voice.

 

 

…I’ll give you a minute to get all situated…

 

Ok great.

 

Now, repeat after me.

 

N….

 

O….

 

 

N….

 

O…

 

N…

 

O…

 

NOoooooooooo…..

 

NO!

 

Louder.

 

NO!

 

With some authority!!!

 

NO.

 

One more time?!

 

NO!!!

 

Phew! That was great!!!

 

How do you feel?

 

Folks, we have an epidemic on our hands: Muteness.

 

Muteness when it comes to saying this simple two-letter short word: No.

 

 

Why is it that a three-letter word (YES) is so much easier to say?

 

For whatever reason, we are at a loss for words when it comes to saying this little two-letter word out loud.

 

We can say it internally—inside we are screaming “NO!”…

 

  • NO I don’t want to buy that product…
  • NO I don’t want to go on a date with you…
  • NO I don’t want to be placed on another volunteer committee…
  • NO I don’t really have the time right now, or can’t afford it right now…
  • NO I can’t go…I actually need some rest right now…
  • NO, I am only one person and can’t do it all by myself…
  • NO, I won’t settle for that offer…
  • NO I will not fall into that same habit…

 

BUT for some odd reason, YESSSSSS comes out of our mouths…again.

 

We justify, we make excuses, we put on our big girl panties and get ‘er done.

 

 

And try as we might to put a smile on our faces, we are kicking ourselves inside: WHY did I say YES?!….again.

 

“Do you mind clearing out your Saturday to work from 8-3?”

 

Of course!

 

“Can you get this back to me by 5 p.m. tonight? (despite having 15 other items on the to-do list).”

 

No problem!

 

“Can you change your schedule around to accommodate mine?”

 

Yesssss!

 

Some way, some how…YES! comes out of our mouths.

 

THRIVE’s Thriving Thursday is typically an article devoted to some form of self-care or wellness topic:

 

Nutrition. Healthier lifestyles. Balance. Fresh insights. Making life a bit easier.

 

Today’s self-care tip: JUST SAY NO…is a nice, subtle way of saying: QUIT KILLING YOURSELF.

 

Stress stinks. And stress kills.

 

And you (and I) are putting our poor little adrenals (stress hormone regulators) to the utmost test (“MAY DAY, MAY DAY!”).

 

Here’s how:

 

 

Your adrenal glands are small glands located on top of each kidney. The adrenals are best known for their role in promoting BALANCE to your body and fending off stress through the production of adrenaline (that prepares your body to spring into action in a stressful situation), and the regulation of the hormone cortisol (i.e. the ‘fight or flight’ hormone)!

 

In addition, the adrenals also play a BIG role in your metabolic function: they regulate how the body converts fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to energy; regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function; and lastly, help regulate your immune response and suppress inflammatory reactions.

 

In short: the adrenals HELP you manage stress and stay healthy.

 

HOWEVER, when overworked (i.e. over-stressed), the adrenals have the reverse effect on us…and things can get pretty ugly.

 

When our cortisol levels go up due to stressful situations…

 

 

…And when they stay up (due to constant stressors, such as: lack of sleep from trying to ‘do it all’, emotional stress over pleasing others, overexposure to computer screens and blue light, mental stress from worrying and thinking too much, and NEVER SAYING ‘NO’)…

 

…Then our adrenals work against us, consequently resulting in things like:

 

  • Being wired, and tired at night
  • NEEEEDING coffee to function
  • Never feeling completely rested
  • Shortness of breath/labored breathing
  • Pounding headaches
  • Lack of peace of mind
  • Anxiety, worry
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Digestive dysfunction
  • Blood sugar handling dysfunction
  • Slowed metabolism
  • Low immunity and allergies
  • Lack of energy
  • Low libido
  • And more 

 

ALL from not being able to say, “No?”

 

In part, yes.

 

While the inability to say “No” is a piece of the puzzle (amongst other things that bring us stress in our lives)…it is definitely a piece that WE HAVE CONTROL OVER.

 

Reflect back to when you were 2-years-old—the good ol days when saying “No” was easy…

 

It IS within you.

 

Stop overcommitting. Overbooking. People pleasing. Doing A LOT of things you really don’t want to do. Stretching yourself too thin…

 

And, just say “no.”

 

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