Reduce stress and anxiety by saying No

I’m the type of person that likes to do a lot of things.  I want to grab life by the horns and do it! I want to be involved in lots of things. And that is a wonderful way to be…until it’s not.

Or perhaps you you don’t want to say no because you are people-pleaser?  Or are you a perfectionist and think that if you look perfect and do everything perfectly you can avoid life’s discomforts?  The cult of busy can sneak up on us in many forms.

Life has it’s crazy times, but if we respond with “crazy busy” when someone asks how we are, it may be time to dig deeper.  Constant busyness is a sign of stress and anxiety, and can prevent us from fully enjoying our lives.  

The truth is that busyness can become a way to numb ourselves from feeling vulnerable to uncomfortable feelings.

If this rings true for you, it may be time to move away from exhaustion as a status symbol and start introducing more down time into your life.  It may be time to move from “What will people think” to “I am enough.”  But how?

1. Say No. The path to whole-hearted living requires us to disappoint people sometimes.  In order to stop spreading ourselves thin, we have to focus on the quality, not the quantity of our experiences.  Give yourself some space to breathe.

2. Breathe into the Spaces.  When we move from fast to slower – when we turn off the tv or the radio, or  give ourselves an open evening, discomfort can arise.  Time to take your practice off the mat!  Just as we breathe into the physical discomfort of pigeon pose, feel what you are feeling – and know that it’s natural to have those feelings.  This can be powerful work.

3. Say Yes to Self-Care.  Make space for practicing stillness, some exercise, and gratitude each day.  Find out what refuels you, and do that.  Just a ten-minute yoga practice or walk outside can bring us back to center in mind, body, and spirit – keeping us on the path to whole-hearted living.

Do you feel too busy?  How are you able to make space to breathe?

Be well,


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