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Learn how to say no

Setting boundaries takes courage, says author Debbie Chapman, but it can lead to a happier and calmer life

by Suzy Walker

Say no

How often do you say yes to extra tasks at work, or to invitations to events you don’t want to attend? Every yes we don’t mean can lead to resentment, poorquality work, stress, exhaustion and even failure.

What are your priorities? Your family, partner, work, friends, fitness, mental health, you – what comes first? When faced with a decision, ask yourself: Do I have the time? Do I want to do it? Will it benefit me? Will I feel bitterness when doing it? Will it cause me extra stress? If I say yes, will I be looking to make excuses at a later date?

Say no to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) by limiting your social media, and instead focus on your own life without any need to share it with the world. Schedule activities you love, surround yourself with friends who make you feel great about yourself and take some time out for solitude.

Spend time with people who lift you up, and don’t drag you down. If you dread seeing a particular person, start saying no to their invitations. See how much happier you feel.

Set boundaries to nurture your mental health. In order to feel good, how many evenings a week do you need to spend at home? Give yourself permission to say no. Your time is precious. You can decide how you spend it.

The Joy Of No’ by Debbie Chapman (Summersdale, £7.99) is available now

Check out the exclusive new coaching program - 'How to say no at work and still succeed' - for subscribers here.

Image: Getty

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