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Sophrologist Dominique Antiglio on the power of 'no', why we all need to say it more often, and how we can put it into action.

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Neon sign 'no'

The Power of No

Dominique Antiglio, Sophrologist at BeSophro Clinic in London, gives us her handy tips for leveraging the power of 'no'.

  • Be a ‘No’ person: Think of saying No as saying Yes to you. You can’t be all things to all people. It’s a statement that’s crucial for creating healthy boundaries. It buys you the time and energy to meet your own wants and commitments without feeling guilty or overwhelmed.
  • No can help you tackle adversity: Saying no actually builds creativity and resilience because it takes you off auto-pilot, giving you the space to think and act more clearly. This is particularly valuable during times of uncertainty when you need more creativity to navigate upheaval. If you can’t be creative, you won’t have the capacity or motivation to transform old habits or find a positive way out of a challenging situation.
  • No helps you stress less and is important for preventing burnout: Burnout tends to occur among people with very strong minds – their mental will to push through overrides their body’s signals for rest and recovery, and this is how burnout happens. Turning up the dial on body awareness is one way to pick up on the signals so you can act as necessary.
Self care

How To Practise Saying No

Variations of No can include delay tactics (it’s not a no, just a “not right now”) as well as just being clear and polite. But saying no can also take shape beyond the verbal:

  • Create a timetable or to-do list and communicate it. This shows others your priorities, if it’s not on the list, it’s a no (or a “not right now”)
To do list
  • Permission to clock-watch: take a full lunch hour and finish work on time – blurring boundaries will make it more difficult to say no to your time in future
  • Mental rest breaks: schedule in breaks like you schedule in meetings. A 10-minute breather can really help to reset the intensity during the day

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