Sometimes in life you have to say no to others. While most people dislike saying no, it really is an important life skill to learn. Failure to say no to others can often lead to stress, overwhelm, and unhappiness.
In my books, speeches, and professional work, I stress the importance of positivity. But saying no to others feels so negative. The word itself is certainly not positive. And the feeling it leaves after a conversation can sometimes feel negative. So how can you say no to others without actually saying the word “no”? How can you protect your time, your feelings, and your needs while keeping the relationship positive?
Here is a simple four-step process to say no positively:
For many people, the stress of everyday life—where you go from stressful situation to another—can seem overwhelming. Between work, family, social commitments, and even the daily onslaught of negative news, stress levels across the board are rising. As a result, conditions like anxiety, depression, OCD behaviors, and insomnia are on the rise.
Fortunately, in many cases, you have a choice. No matter what the stressful situation is, you can choose to react to it positively or negatively. You can choose to let life weigh you down. Or you can choose to rise above the challenges.
Consider this old story and think about the deeper meaning being illustrated:
A farmer had an old dog. One day his dog fell into a … >>>
When it comes to stress management, you have more control over your stress levels than you may think. That’s because your emotions play a big role in stress management.
Fact: Emotions and Stress Management are Related!
Emotions have many variations: joy, contentment, serenity, frustration, sadness, sorrow, guilt, etc. If you break them down into their simplest elements, there are only two important categories; one sends positive messages and the other sends negative messages. To practice stress management, you need to be aware when your emotions are sending negative messages and transform them into positive messages.
The question is, how do you do that?
If you are mindful (conscious) of your emotions, you will realize that they are affected by your … >>>
Positivity is important. And sometimes we need to think of the meaning behind what we like to keep. This applies to both physical and mental keepsakes. Are your thoughts and possessions promoting positivity? Or do you need to let go of some outdated beliefs?
Here is a case in point.
For years I have had a little statue describing an ancient morality. The tiny statue that sat on my desk portrayed three little monkeys. One had hands over the eyes, another with hands over the ears, and a third with hands over the mouth.
The message was to see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. The philosophy portrayed in the little figures is that good is found … >>>
Most people are on a quest for happiness. We want to be happy, and we want our children to be happy. As a result, to hopefully ensure the happiness of their children, many parents give them things. Before I go any further, let me clearly state that the following point is NOT to stop giving items to our children; it is to point out how HAPPINESS is EARNED, not GIVEN.
Unfortunately, many young people today are learning to have an “entitlement” mentality rather than a happiness mentality. For example, many teachers give kindergarten and early grade students stickers or other items for doing what the teacher requests. Parents also bribe youngsters by saying something like, “If you do this, then … >>>
Relationship stress is a common problem. The relationship can be between two adults, two children, and even between an adult and a child. The quickest and best way to ease relationship stress is NOT to try to change the other person. Instead, change something about yourself first.
If you are convinced that another person is wrong and they are the source of the stress, there is always the chance it could just be a case of “mistaken certainty.” Or, perhaps, the two of you just have significantly different belief systems. Or, perhaps, it could be the case that “I know you believe you think you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what … >>>
Did you know that the words you use to speak to yourself and others have the power to reduce stress? It’s true. I often write and speak about how one word can change feelings and actions, which in turn can either elevate stress or reduce it.
Here’s an example of something people at work often say, “I HAVE to attend this meeting.” Using the word “have” in this instance prompts negativity. However, if we change just one word in the sentence, we can change the feeling the sentence evokes. Here it is: “I GET to attend this meeting.” The word “get” in this instance prompts a positive orientation.
Words are powerful. Here is an example of how a few words
Communicating in positive terms to yourself and to others triggers enthusiasm, capability, and self-confidence. Allow me to share some additional advantages when your self-talk and communications to others are in positive—rather than in negative—terms. I also want to emphasize that positivity applies especially to teachers who are engaged in classroom management and classroom discipline.
Benefits of Positivity
Positivity feels good. It brings joy, gratitude, and energy. It negates despair and instead prompts hope, pride, and inspiration.
Positive emotions engage people’s attention. It changes your outlook on life because it expands your worldview.
It prompts people to look around more.
Positivity changes how your mind works. It builds psychological strength and mental habits, such as looking for humor that promotes good … >>>
We’re often told, “Do what you love.” It’s great advice, because when you love what you’re doing, you can often reduce stress. But what if you have to do something you don’t love? Can it still be enjoyable?
Let’s take a lesson from Tom Sawyer to see how you can turn situations around.
A Lesson on How to Reduce Stress
Tom Sawyer had the responsibility of whitewashing Aunt Polly’s front picket fence. The fence was 30 yards wide and 9 feet high. Most people would agree this wouldn’t be a fun task.
On Saturday morning, Tom was whitewashing the fence when he saw Ben approaching. Tom put on a smile and showed Ben how he was really enjoying the … >>>
For many people, workplace stress is a fact of life that they think will never end. But you can reduce and even eliminate workplace stress.
If you tend to have a negative attitude in the workplace, this tip is for you!
There is a natural human tendency to go to the negative rather than to the positive. Office negativity is not helpful. But there is a way to keep negativity, and the resulting stress, away. For example, suppose you receive a note that your supervisor wants to see you before you leave for the day. The natural inclination is to assume that the meeting will have a negative connotation. There is no basis for this. It is a faulty assumption; … >>>
Many people fear public speaking. This tip will show you how to turn this stress into confidence.
Standing in front of a group to present can be very scary. Symptoms include dry mouth, weakness, memory loss, upset stomach, cold sweat, and tight throat muscles. Sound familiar? All of these are quite natural physical sensations when a person is frightened. Depending on the situation and how the person is responding to it, there may be just a little apprehension or there may be a full-blown panic.
Here is a very simple, proven, three-step process for overcoming your fear of public speaking. By following these steps, you can make speaking in front of groups a positive experience.
Understanding how to overcome adversity is a vital life skill. Often, adversity can be the launching pad to success. How you personally deal with adversity is the difference.
If you were born into a poor family without the means to send you to a desired university, you can’t go back and trade your parents for more affluent ones. Likewise, if you were born with a physical disability, you can’t trade in your body for a better model in overcoming adversity.
Remember, however, that the cards you are dealt are less important than the way you play your hand in the face of adversity. In fact, history books are full of success stories about people who used strength in adversity.
You can use the principle of diffusion to reduce stress. What is diffusion? Think of it this way: When someone has a great idea, how is it conveyed in a picture or cartoon? A light bulb appears over the person’s head! The image illustrates diffusion animation and is an example of diffusion of light. We can use this illustration to help us reduce stress.
To fully understand how this principle works to reduce stress, you first need to understand the difference between a light bulb and a laser beam.
Use Your Mind to Reduce Stress
When I was a young boy, I had small magnifying glass. When I held the magnifying glass at a certain distance from an object, it … >>>
Here is a stress management tip—but first, “Why are so many people today dealing with stress and anxiety more than ever before?” The answer may surprise you, and this stress management tip on how to relieve stress and anxiety might just help.
Stress and anxiety can affect people of all ages—whether a person is a student under stress or a person in retirement. The key to dealing with anxiety and stress is through effort and stress management, which leads to anxiety relief and managing stress levels.
Consider these two examples: There was a dentist in Duluth, Minnesota who had more patients at age 89 than he ever had in his previous years of practice. His hands were steady, and … >>>
When it comes to reducing stress, different techniques work for different people. So if you’ve tried some strategies to reduce stress but found they didn’t work for you, try something else. Here are some popular techniques I use to reduce stress. I hope a few of them work for you too.
Practice positive thinking. When you talk to yourself and others, focus on what CAN be done, rather than what can’t be done.
Exercise. Staying fit can reduce the production of stress hormones. This includes some cardiovascular exercise (walking qualifies), some weight exercise, and definitely some stretching. As the body ages, muscles lose mass and shrink. Therefore, exercise is definitely beneficial.
Can the simple act of smiling really reduce stress? According my own research and personal experience, the answer is yes.
Scientists know that negative emotions can cause a cascade of biological responses that harm the body. These include chronic stress that increases inflammation, and inflammation has been linked to a host of health problems.
Therefore, give your life a smile. It is not a stretch to think that smiling, which is a cousin of happiness, can also prompt positive changes in the body and reduce stress.
Examples of Using Smiles to Reduce Stress
Try this: Before talking into your cell phone, smile. This routine will make it easier for you to put a smile in your voice. When you smile … >>>