You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated.    Sometimes you need to put your foot down. Needless tolerance can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. Here are some suggestions on how to say no to stress by avoiding or stop tolerating some or all of these situations in your life:

  •  Negative thinking. What do you typically think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths or your weaknesses?  The best that could happen or the worst that might come to be?  Pay attention to your self-talk.  Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking. The sun is always shining on some part of your life. Your mind is your sacred space.  You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in. It’s your choice.
  • Other people’s negativity. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.
  • Inaction. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live.  You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. The best time to start is now.
  • Dishonesty. Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are. Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period.
  • Procrastination. Stop procrastinating. Start taking action to tie loose ends. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier. There’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of unfinished business.
  • Work environment or career you hate. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big. Because hard work isn’t hard when you concentrate on your passions. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in. Keep searching. Eventually you will find work you love to do.
  • Disorganized and unprepared. Clear the clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use. Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man.  That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.
  • Past mistakes and regrets. The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger. If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. Let it go. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.
  • Personal debt. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not buy stuff you do not need. Do not spend to impress others. Always live well below your means.  Financial debt causes stress and heartache.
  • Unhealthy relationships. You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are.  Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength.  We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth. Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships.  Be with people who know your worth.
  • Mediocrity.  It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.  Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you- something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what life is all about.  Don’t settle.
  • Reluctance. Don’t censor yourself.  Speak the truth – your truth – always. Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head.  It’s always there watching you.  It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line.  And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think it’s opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths.  But they’re not truths; they’re just other people’s opinions.  Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches.  He can’t actually control you.  He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain.  No, you shouldn’t start shouting obscenities and acting like a fool.  But you must say what you need to say, when you need to say it.  It may be your only chance to do so.

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