How to Eliminate Stress Part 10: Learn to Say No

say-no

You cannot be everything to everybody all of the time. It is humanly impossible to do and attempted suicide if you try. In order to keep your sanity, you are just going to have to tell some people no, no matter who they are. You should have peace about the things that you commit yourself to, and if you do not, then you should not do it. Of course people will get mad at you, talk about you, and even shut you out, but if that’s the case, you probably need to reevaluate the people in your life and their true motives. If you don’t set boundaries, people will run you ragged. People are inherently selfish and needy and if you don’t set boundaries in your life, you won’t have one because you’ll be constantly living for others and their expectations. 

If you’re used to saying yes all the time, saying no may hurt a little and even seem strange, but the peace that will follow will be well worth it. In order to stay sane and not fly off the handle on a daily basis, boundaries are absolutely necessary. We need to set healthy boundaries with our families, our friendships, our working relationships, our romantic relationships, etcetera, and we need to make those boundaries known. If people respect you like they say they do, they’ll operate within those limits and be okay if you can’t always do what they want you to do. Saying no is not a sin and eventually the people you say it to will get over it. You must learn how to take care of yourself because if you’re tired and exhausted all the time, which will eventually lead to sickness, you won’t be of any good to anybody anyway, including God, Who is the only Person that you should be concerned about pleasing. Your body needs rest, a balanced diet, and sleep, and you can’t give it that if you’re over extending yourself.

If you think this will be a hard task for you, ask the Lord to help you. You should always pray about the task you are thinking about committing to anyway, but you will need to learn to be quiet and still long enough to hear God’s response. For now on, before blurting out yes to everything that is asked of you, start by responding by, “Let me pray on it and I’ll get back to you.” If God gives you the green light, go for it; if He doesn’t, don’t go forward. If you want to relieve stress you must learn to yield to the Holy Spirit at all times. Saying no is actually a healthy word to include in your vocabulary, so give it a try and watch peace replace stress!

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