Anxiety And Being OK With Saying No

Anxiety And Being OK With Saying No

The Healthy Line of Yes and No.
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I am a textbook definition of wanting to please people, and saying "yes" always seems to do the trick. However, it is only minutes later that my anxiety picks up and I wonder why I said yes to something again. Then I feel guilty for even thinking of taking back my yes. Before I know it my brain and body are a chaos within each other.

Here's the thing: there is a healthy line.

It has taken me many years to understand that I was allowed to say "no." It did not make me less of a friend or human being to allow myself a little less chaos in my life.

I think the hardest realization to come to was within myself. I wanted to do this and that with everyone who ever asked, but my body and mind pleaded for me not to. So which do I side with? Thus the healthy line.

We have to be comfortable above all else, and in order to remain such, we need to understand what our mind and body are telling us. For me it comes almost instantly. I can say yes to a date, a trip, a new project and be instantly shell-shocked and regretful. The problem here is that it takes a little more work and insight to say no before that regret kicks in. It's not easy, but we are allowed to pause and ask ourselves whether it is what we want to do. We are then allowed to say no without the feeling of guilt reigning over us.

Now this does not mean we have an immediate excuse to hide in comfort zones for the rest of our lives, feeding our fears and anxiety. It simply means that we can't always be the people pleasers we expect ourselves to be. It means finding the balance between saying yes and saying no. Allowing ourselves time to process invitations and ideas and questions. It means planning ahead. Above all, it means allowing ourselves to feel comfortable in every decision and choice we make.

So learn to say no (gracefully).

If you are seeking to say no more often to friends and family, it may be easier to explain to them exactly why. Whether it be anxiety, depression, an illness, or the like, be comfortable expressing your needs with them. Bring them into your mind so that they can 1) understand, and 2) help you to the best of their ability.

It becomes a little tricker when saying no to colleagues, classmates and the sort, though. This is where we have to bring a little of that gracefulness in. Here we must learn how to say no in a way that makes us comfortable and also does not leave the other party assuming it is a personal vendetta.

The simplest of ways to confront this is to answer with a simple "let me get back to you," or "thank you so much, let me think about it!" Then if your answer does come back to a no, don't feel obligated to explain your brainwaves to them, but simply thank them for the invite and let them know that you will try and make the next one. The biggest thing here is not to simply rely on a quick yes to solve the problem of immediate anxiety, as that will most often lead to more anxiety like I explained earlier.

There are always going to be offers; whether they are a road trip, a movie date, grabbing drinks after work, teaming up on a project, etc. And where we would love to say "yes, absolutely" to every offer, we don't have to. We are allowed to say no. Whether it's because of a chaotic mind or simply because we want to stay in with some wine and popcorn, we are allowed to listen to ourselves and take time for ourselves.

The double-edge sword.

Shoot, once you get used to it, "no" becomes just as intoxicating as "yes".

So, get out there, challenge your anxiety and comfort zone, but remember to listen to and care for yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Katherine Henson

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Well, Here I Am Again Writing An Article At 2 AM Because My Anxiety Is Not Letting Me Sleep

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible.

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Life is crazy and rough and sometimes sucks. My anxiety has been at its worst this semester, and if I'm being honest - it's driving me insane. I have lost sleep because of it. I have missed classes because of it. I have skipped out on being around friends because of it. The last one is the one that always confuses me, though. I'm at my happiest when I'm around people. I love it, but lately, there have been multiple days where I would rather curl up in a ball and cry.

I struggle to breathe. I struggle to keep up with life. I have all of these thoughts racing through my head. One after the other, trying to see which one will be victorious. However, all of them are victorious because they all have me wide awake. I haven't had a decent night of sleep in a while. At this point, I could probably say its been almost a year since I slept well.

It's yet another night. 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake, crippling with thoughts I want out of my head.

It's constant. It never really stops. I can hear it early in the morning, as I eat my lunch when I'm walking to class, and especially late at night. Right now, the thought screaming the loudest is "No one likes you. That's why you're here and not there." I know it's not true.

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible. I hate them. They irritate me. They keep me up all hours of the night. I toss and turn for hours on end wishing for all of these anxious thoughts to end. I think about things from years ago. I think about things from yesterday. These things never seem to end.

My anxiety has been horrible lately. I haven't been able to get a proper night's sleep in months. I've averaged 3-4 hours a night. I hate it. My mind won't turn off. The racing thoughts never seem to end. I am sick of it. I want to get out of this, but I just can't. Why is this happening?

I have not been able to breathe properly in weeks. I have to physically stop, breathe in deeply, and practically yawn to catch my breath. Why? Why is this happening? I hate it. I'm so stressed from life. This needs to stop.

My body is weak. My mind is no longer concentrating. I want to run away from all of this, but I know that is not how I should handle it. This needs to end. My days can no longer be filled with hopes of a class being canceled or pretending like it is so I don't have to go.

Anxiety has overtaken my life, and I am sick of it. I am ready for it to leave. It won't though. It will continue to reside in my body. I hate it. I can't breathe. I want to cry, but I just can't. I'm sick of this. Anxiety can f*ck off because it has no business taking control of my life.

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