When you find that you are overwhelmed by other people's excessive demands on your resources, protect yourself and manage future stress by learning to say NO.

When you find yourself pressured to prioritize issues that you don’t consider a priority, protect your real priorities and reduce future stress by learning to say NO.

When you find yourself being coerced to make commitments that are not in line with your goals and are thus a waste of your time, protect your real goals and manage future stress by learning to say NO.

When you find yourself being bulldozed into projects that you leave you feeling distressed, depressed and depleted, protect yourself and reduce future stress by learning to say NO to the bulldozers.  

Discard the guilt of saying NO by accepting that saying NO to draining demands is one of the tenets of self care and stress management.

Understand also that your NO does not have to be abrasive. It can be a gentle NO. But, don’t embellish it with exaggerations or corrupt it by swearing. Let your yes be yes and your NO, NO since anything else comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)

To develop the scientific art of saying  NO in  order to protect your self, your priorities, your purpose and your purse from future stress, you have to:
1. Set aside time to clarify your values and purpose.
2. Sit and budget your time, money, physical and mental energy to ensure you fulfill your purpose.
3. Set clear boundaries to guard your time, money and energy so that you can be cognizant of their infringement.
4. Sit and practice articulating the protective NO to the trespassers.

Understand also that when demands thinly disguised as requests are made on your precious resources, you don’t have to fumble, mumble and stumble into sin looking for explanations.

Those near and dear to you can be in the know about your purpose, priorities and purse strings but the rest of the public only requires a courteous NO since, wait for it because here it comes, NO, IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.

Therefore, the next time you are inundated with distressing demands, divert the stress and decline the depressing demands with a simple NO since NO, say it after me, since NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.

Adapted from Rules of Relaxation by Dr Miriam Kinai © 2007

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