ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness»
  • Personal Development

Learn to Say "No" - Choose What Makes You Happy

Updated on June 10, 2017
Robie Benve profile image

Robie is an artist who believes in the power of positive thinking. She loves sharing art tips and bringing people joy through her paintings.

Why Do We Say Yes When We’d Rather Say No?

We Say Yes for FEAR OF:

  • Disappointing others
  • Having to deal with their reactions
  • Creating conflict
  • Regretting it later
  • Not being liked
  • Lose job
  • Lose relationship

Surround Yourself With Things You Love, and Truly Enjoy Them.

There are many ways to find happiness, and what works for one person may be totally ineffective for another. Each person needs to find his or her own way.

Think about what can really make you happy.

What do you love?

What makes your eyes sparkle and your hurt beat faster?

Happiness Comes from Within

Nothing and no one that can provide happiness to you, other than yourself. Happiness comes from within.

Joy is nowhere else to be found.

Once you reach a personal balance, you realize that while many things may be good to have, they are not necessary.

Money, cars, fame, good looks don't make you feel truly happy. They can make you feel euphoric and cheerful for a short time, but it will fade out.

Sometimes people that we admire and think “they have it all” suffer from depression and feel deeply unhappy. Why?

Doing things to look good, to please others, can provide immediate reward but in the long run it can get quite frustrating and it makes you feel in a trap, a tunnel in which there is no freedom to follow your personal instincts and be fully yourself.

The true essence of happiness comes from inside you and you are the only maker or source of your own well-being.

Ask Yourself:

If this week was my last week on Earth, would I be happy with how I’m spending my time?

How to Define Your Priorities and Find Your Balance

How you spend your time reveals your life’s priorities. But are those priorities the true things that you would like to spend your life doing? Or do you spend most of your time doing things that you have to do, and you sacrifice the things that you would really enjoy?

The first thing you need to do is define what are the things that are most enjoyable to you.

1. Write a list of the things that are most important to you, your first choices of how to spend your time if you had no obligations beside your own will.

2. Then you write the list of activities that truly take your time day by day.

3. Review the list of things that take up most of your time. Are your priorities what you expected? are they what you want them to be?

Most of us actually spend their time on totally different things from their ideal list. Often we can only dedicate little bits of time to the most important things, like family, fun, exercise, art, etc. because we have too much on our agenda.

The unbalance between how we spend our time, and what we would really love to do, creates stress and anxiety in our lives.

Saying No to Others Without Feeling Guilty

Many times we say yes to things that are not a priority to us simply because we feel obligated.

I struggled for years with the idea of scheduling things that are only for me, and take me away from my children and my family.

I used to love yoga, but I stopped going to yoga classes because of feelings of guilt about not being a good mother or wife when taking time for myself. I know, it can sound non-sense, but that’s the way I felt.

I never restarted going to yoga, but now I take time to paint and write, which is also wonderful for my sanity, and I feel better because I can do it at home. Even if I don’t actively spend time with my family, I’m physically there and available upon request.

My better moods after I started spending more time on things I love, has been noticed by both my husband and my children, and they were very welcoming of my newly found cheerfulness.

Also I think it is a great example for the children to see that I have reoriented my life around things that are important to me and make me happy.

Ways to Live Happier - The List

Below is a list of things you can do to live a happier life.

The focus of the list is to eliminate what drains your energy, you make more space for the things that energize you, those that are truly important.

Every item on the list aims to eliminate energy drains and replace them with things that fuel you.

Find the things that stimulate and strengthen you, increase the time you dedicate to those activities, it will help you achieve your potential.

Saying Yes to Yourself

Things to Do to Feel Happier
Spend time with good friends that make you laugh.
Listen to your favorite music regularly.
Create a beautiful environment around you: get rid of clutter and stuff you don’t longer need. Keep your home neat, clean, and well organized. Keep fresh flowers in your home and office
Always take lunch breaks.
Save money consistently, and enjoy being generous and easily share your wealth. Pay your credit card off every month.
Be spontaneous in what your think, your ideas, and what you do.
Laugh, keep your sense of humor alive, laugh at the weird things that happen instead of being annoyed. Be silly.
Be creative, try new things instead of sticking to safe paths.
Appreciate the little things in life, be grateful for simple life-experiences.
Have some good friends, you just need a few, with which you establish a deep satisfying relationship.
Make some time for yourself.
Tolerate life’s uncertainty and accept change. Learn to work with a problem, finding a solution, instead of fighting it.
Be an independent thinker, let your personality and your taste define who you are. Listen to your own feelings instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority. Be prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority.
Eliminate what drains your energy, make more space for the things that energize you, those that are truly important.

How to Use Your Time Better

To understand what needs to change to make you happier you can ask yourself some questions to help you decide what you activities you need to cut, reschedule or terminate.

  • Am I doing what makes me happy?
  • What is important to me this time in my life?
  • Where would I like to spend more of my time?
  • Are there areas that need my attention, like my health, a relationship, work, finances?
  • Do I have a secret dream that keeps getting put on the side burner, that I ‘d like to devote more time to? Like writing a book, or learning a foreign language?
  • What can handle less attention? -What needs more attention?

Focus on the positive, always.
Focus on the positive, always. | Source

What Makes You Happy?

There is a lot of talk about the pursuit of happiness. “Magic lists” about how to be happy are popping up everywhere, but what makes one person happy may not work for others.

Happiness is a very personal thing.

Happiness is not having more money or more stuff, you can be very happy with very little material possession if you are able to appreciate and enjoy what you have.

My philosophy on finding happiness can be summarized in this simple rule:

Find the time to dance to your favorite music, every day.
Find the time to dance to your favorite music, every day. | Source

Learning to Say No

We all have a choice about how to use our time, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, and we feel “stuck” with a busy agenda and no time to take care of yourself.

The only way to make more time for the things we love and enjoy is to say no, schedule less, or cancel appointments.

Changing the way we use our time can be difficult, it means changing the way we interact with others, how we respond to requests, and how we help colleagues, family, and friends. Time is a gift that most of us take for granted.

To change the way we commit our time, we need to learn how to say no.
Some decisions may be hard and you may be concerned with the reactions of others, but the quality of your life will be upgraded immediately.

1) For a quick and dramatic improvement in the quality of your life, make a big choice, like resigning as chair of an important committee or stop coaching sports three times a week.

2) Look for ways to include your true priorities in everyday tasks. With proper planning and creative thinking you can include things like listening to music, having fun, being creative, taking walks, in your daily and working schedule.

If we don’t make our emotional and physical health important, we are headed for burn out and would be unable to care for ourselves and our family.

Choose to be happy. allow yourself to be silly and enjoy the moment.
Choose to be happy. allow yourself to be silly and enjoy the moment. | Source

Feeling Alone in a Crowd

Have you ever experienced feeling alone in a crowd? When you see everyone around you interacting, talking, smiling, laughing, but no one talks to you. You almost feel invisible, a fly on the wall observing the scene, but not part of the action. It can be very challenging feeling happy while a world of people that look happy clearly ignores you.

How can you feel happy when surrounded by a neglecting crowd?

A way to succeed is if you feel comfortable with yourself.

Feeling fulfilled with your lifestyle and the relationships and things that you have, are necessary steps to feel happy. If they don’t talk to you it is their loss.

Use Your Time Wisely

Time is a very precious resource and how we use it defines who we are and how happy we can be.

Let's use our time wisely and live happier. : )

© 2012 Robie Benve

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 14 months ago from Ohio

      Thanks cranberriegirl, I agree, as humans we have a natural instinct that pulls us into a life-long search for happiness. I wish that instinct was clearer on what we need to do to achieve it, though. lol So many of us spending years pursuing the wrong things! Thanks a lot for your comment.

    • cranberriegirl profile image

      Lisa V 14 months ago from Canada

      Great hub! As humans we are always pursuing happiness, many good tips!

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Shrikrishnap, I love your attitude of whatever happens I choose to say NO to sadness. That's brilliant. :) Thanks a lot for reading and your happy comment!

    • Shrikrishnap profile image

      Shrikrishna Potdar 5 years ago from Bangalore

      Thanks for a nice hub I liked the concept of "If this week was my last week on earth, would I be happy with how I’m spending my time?"

      If one practices this every month & reminding it One can get to habit of being happy all the time.

      Many times people are miserable because they could say NO at right time. Once they had said "Yes" in past and now they have to suffer.

      One should actually say "NO" to sad moments & worries in life. "Come what may I will not be sad. I will take everything as challenge" this attitude can make life happier forever.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks a lot g-girl11, Happy Writing! :)

    • g-girl11 profile image

      g-girl11 5 years ago

      I like your ideas! Especially about eliminating clutter, surrounding yourself with what you love, laughing, and saving money consistently. That's pretty much my recipe for happiness, too. They are also the subjects I write about. Thanks for sharing.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for your comment Perspicacious, I'll check your hub out. Appreciated. :)

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      In my shorter version there are seven keys which somewhat summarize your longer list. See what you think.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Oh, that's a wonderful thing that I made you smile. Thanks!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This hub let me smile, thanks :)

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hi kittyjj, saying no to requests can be very hard, but once you do, it's surprising how people are understanding of the reasons behind the no and accept it kindly. Thank for stopping by and you comment. :)

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      To live a happy life is my main goal. I think the hardest part for me is to say "NO". Thank you for pointing it out that saying "NO" to others means saying "YES" to myself. I will keep my smile with me. Shared and pinned.

    • Blueumbrella profile image

      Blueumbrella 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article! Lots of great tips and good advice. I guess the core of it all would be: "Happiness comes from within" - which seems so easy, but can be really hard in reality sometimes :)

      I liked the passage on saying "no" to others. So often we tend to think about others first.. When I catch myself doing this, I ask myself this question: "Do you live for them or for yourself?" It usually helps ;)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This is a brilliant article with lots of good tips. I never used to take lunch at work because "there was no time". I used to work on the weekends to "catch up". After going on a nature holiday in April and coming back with a clear head, I was able to discover what I really wanted from life and how I wasn't living it to its fullest for ME. Thanks for the tips! Voted up and sharing :)

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Every time I read one of your hubs, I am inspired! Thanks for writing this!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      These are great ideas to improve our physical, emotional and mental health - I like the balanced approach here! We truly do create our own happiness - what a lesson to learn!

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      KJ force, thanks for taking the time to read, this is a topic tat is very near to my heart. Wishing you lots of happiness! :)

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      Great hub..your words were very on spot..we as humans sometimes rely on others to make our happiness, when in reality we are actually responsible, by the way we perceive the " quirks in life"..taking on challenges, etc

      changes come more readily when we make them..loved the hub..