Speaking Mental Health
Forward Times Mental Health Advisors
We all make decisions for our lives, and the decisions revolve around two choices, “yes” or “no.” As responsible human beings, we are expected to make decisions that will improve our lives and keep us in a safe place physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally. Some decisions are tough and require a few days of pondering and acceptance, other decisions are rather matter of fact and can be handled immediately. We start using these decision-making muscles incredibly early in life, and we strengthen that muscle as we get older and mature.
People generally have good feelings and experience elevated moods when the answer is YES. It appears the sun shines brighter, the birds chirp louder, and there is a clear blue sky when the answer is yes. But what happens to that mood when the answer is NO, especially when you asked for something and you believe you are qualified to receive a YES? I am almost certain the mood shifts, and suddenly everything that brought you joy is now contributing to your dissatisfaction.
Why does this happen when you receive a NO? Well, the word NO is equivalent to rejection. One of the most difficult things to comprehend is knowing you are adequately qualified for something you have pursued and still hear NO. Most people have experienced rejection in various stages of their lives; from early childhood all the way through adulthood. Just as you have experienced rejection, you have also rejected other people or ideas that made you feel uncomfortable.
Let us consider a two-year-old child and the word that is most prevalent in their vocabulary. Most two-year-old children use the word NO frequently. If you ask them to do something or to share something, sometimes, the first response is NO. They are familiar with the word NO because they hear it frequently, but it is also a word they use to protect their personal space. They are not cognitively aware of what they are doing, but they are in essence protecting their space and only allowing and entertaining what they want and what makes them feel good.
As we grow and mature and experience the world around us, we should not lose the strength of that inner two-year-old. It can be challenging and maybe uncomfortable for some people to say NO because of peer pressure, the desire to be accepted, or simply because pleasure outweighs discipline. Living by the pleasure principle may reward you now, but it can cost you later.
Saying NO does not just apply to other people, but it also applies to saying it to yourself. To maintain some level of balance in your mental health, you must not only say NO to others, but also to yourself. You must make decisions that will not always be comfortable now, but that will be beneficial for your future. When you tell yourself NO, you are not rejecting yourself, but you are protecting yourself.
Well, what does this have to do with mental health? It has everything to do with mental health because it allows you the freedom to put yourself first. It gives you the authority and the control over your life and your peace. Saying NO protects your space. It protects you spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially.
How do you know it is time to say NO to others and/or yourself?
• It will not add to you.
• You do not have the right vibes or the right energy from the invitation.
• It is totally opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.
• It is likely to put you in a financial crisis.
• It will disturb your peace.
• You will have regrets if you say YES.
Saying NO will require some practice and discipline because sometimes doing the right thing for yourself can be the hardest thing to do for yourself. Learn how to say NO without an explanation. You are ultimately responsible for your health and well-being.
To check out my podcast, visit my website at https://www.thechangenavigator.info/podcast.
Also, search Amazon Kindle for my eBook, “PIVOT: 8 Keys to Reinventing Your NOW”
Search lulu.com for my paperback book, “Finding the YES in the NO: A Guide to Overcoming Rejection”