Audio: How to say "no"

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The "disease to please" is a tough one to cure. While the remedy is a simple "no", saying it can be a hard pill to swallow. Listen to this easy-to-follow advice and you'll learn how to say no and claim some of your life back.

Want to increase the stress in your life? One good way is say "yes" to uninvited personal or work requests that will eat up your already limited free time—and possibly send your stress levels through the roof.

But there is a better way.

Why "no" means "yes" to a better life

One good reason to start saying "no" is so that you can concentrate on what's really important to you. Sure, we all have obligations (such as our jobs) and make time for them, but when your priorities (like sharing quality time with family and friends) are compromised, then refusing to take on new commitments can give you time for what's really important to you.

Saying "no" also allows you to:

  • Have the time to concentrate on things you've already said yes to—and have the focus to do them well
  • Free up time to try something new—sports, hobbies or volunteering
  • Improve your mood and your health since a time-crunched stressed-out schedule can leave you crabby or bitter and can increase your chances of getting sick

If you find it hard to say "no"—even though your schedule is stretched to the max—know that many of us have trouble refusing a request. But you can learn how. Listen and learn:

Ease out of stress

If getting to "no" is difficult for you, try the Visualize for inner strength audio exercise. Led by stress expert Eli Bay, this exercise will help you relax and visualize a positive outcome for any situation that requires a dose of bravery.

You can also search "stress" in the find support section for organizations in your area that offer stress relief services.


  • About: Stress Management, How to say no to people making demands on your time, website
  • CNN, How to say no to your boss, website
  • Mayo Clinic, Stress relief: Learn how to say no, website
  • Real Simple, 10 guilt-free strategies for saying no, website
  • Time, Why almost everyone has trouble saying no, website
  • University of Florida, Counseling Center, How to say no, website

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