Just Say No


You know stress is a risk factor for cognitive decline, so you’re working on reducing it. Yet, you just can’t find the time to meditate, take a yoga class, or practice deep breathing. You’re trying to find a way to work stress reduction into your schedule. Now you’re stressed about reducing your stress!

Well, as they say, don’t stress. Instead of adding to your already overwhelming list of expectations for yourself, how about taking something away? The next time someone asks you to commit to a task, just say no.

Yep, you heard that right. Just say, “no,” “not right now,” or “I can’t.” If you’re a people pleaser, this might be one of the hardest moves you’ll make in your cognitive health journey. But, once you master it, saying “no” to unnecessary commitments is liberating. If you’re not sure whether or not you can say no to a request, ask yourself the following questions:

What will happen if I say no? Will anyone be hurt if I say no? What will the benefits be to my time/mood/stress levels if I say no?