It’s ok to say no

I love to say yes – I love to have options. Often, I have 5 potential things to do on a Saturday night, and I choose one (well, sometimes manage to combine 3!). I love this, love live music and seeing friends.

But should I say no more.

Should I embrace the quiet time of staying in.

If I’m honest, I’m still busy when I stay in: catching up on work, reading more blog posts, articles, the newspaper, watching TV. So, I’m not still and quiet. The only time that happens is when I’m walking in nature – I know I’m not still physically, but I am mentally. It stills my thoughts.

I was prompted to write this after reading an article from The Guardian – Burned out and overwhelmed: should you embrace the joy of no?

Should we focus more on what gives us joy in our lives?

And should we get more joy from saying no – instead of FOMO – the fear of missing out, should we focus on JOMO – The Joy of Missing Out?

Brinkmann writes “We are constantly invited to do something, think something, experience something, buy something … when inundated by overwhelming amounts of information, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what is important from what is not.”

We should only say yes to social events that we really want to go to. To say no more to work tasks that are not our responsibility and also to unhelpful thoughts and feelings. This last can have a major impact on our wellbeing. Especially when after saying no to something we are filled with guilt.

Too much in our lives can lead to overwhelm.

It is better to focus on what is important.

So why can’t we say no more?

 Is it because we value what other people will think or say more than we value ourselves? Do we feel that if we say no to social activity people will think we are not nice people and unlikeable? That’s the view of Clinical Psychologist Rachel Andrew.

I can feel good about saying no to a social activity and thinking that I’ve gained a free evening. But I haven’t. I fill it with catching up on TV. Should I be ok to just sit and be? Would I feel happier if I practiced mindfulness more or meditated?

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal.

I need to allow myself to sit quietly but I will still be with my thoughts. But maybe that’s ok – to allow any thoughts to come into our head without an intention to resolve them. I do find walking in nature allows this – walking without a destination in mind, or a time limit.

No conclusions, but something to consider. What do you think?

This post continues the theme from the previous blog post – Time to say no.

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