How to Say No to Things & Make Room For What Matters Most

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

We are all looking for a simpler, more peaceful life. Sometimes to find simplicity, we need to say no to some things to make room for what really matters. I'm going to share how I learned how to say no to things.

The world feels like it's moving faster and faster each year. Life is filled with stimulus, so it's no wonder that many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed.

On my journey toward a happier, more peaceful life, I found that living mindfully is the key to finding calm. I have a limited amount of time and energy to give in each day. With life always tugging at me in various directions, I have learned to prioritize the things that are most important to me and to say no to the rest.

You don't need to do it all

1. You don't need to do it all

I have let go of the idea that I need to do it all. Taking the pressure off of myself by giving myself grace if I don't complete everything I had intended to do. By letting myself off the hook, I accomplished more, and without feeling like I let myself down, I have accepted my limitations and am okay with them. I don't beat myself up or feel guilty about not doing it all.  

What matters most in life?

2. Stop caring about others' opinions of you

Not caring about others' opinions of me is incredibly freeing. Worrying about what others think of me is a useless effort because I have no control over what they think. I live my life for myself, not for others. What they think is their business, so I'll leave them to it.  

Saying no to the news

3. Say no to news

I'm saying no to news to make room for more uplifting and positive information. The last several years of the news cycle have been exhausting. Between elections, COVID, the economy, violence, and war, the neverending negative news cycle has brought me down. I'm choosing to be more mindful 

of the information. I'm feeding my mind.  

How to simplify your life

4. Stop worrying

I can't worry enough to change anything. I don't know what the future holds, so I'm not going to invest my precious time and energy in worrying about things I don't know and can't control. The only certain thing is this present moment. Right now, worry only robs me of the joy that I can have today.  

Giving up the fear of missing out

5. Give up the fear of missing out

I surrendered the feeling of fear of missing out. Social media makes it easy to look at other people's lives and think, wow, they have got it all together, and look how amazing their life looks. No one's life is perfect.

We all have our own struggles, and it's impossible to compare ourselves to anyone else because we are all unique with individualized successes and problems.

When I'm focused on others' lives, I miss out on all the beauty in my life. Not buying into the fear of missing out leaves me feeling content and grateful for all the joys and beauty I have in my life.  

Letting go of the need to be right

6. Let go of the need to be right

By letting go of the need to be right, I am so much more peaceful. The older I get, the more I realize how little I actually know. In my younger years, I would dig in and defend my position of being right, even if I wasn't. It feels good to let go of the rope.

Being right doesn't matter to me as much as a peaceful relationship or a peaceful mind.  

Saying no to negative people

7. Stay away from negative people 

Life is a precious gift. I don't want to give my positive energy and joy to negative people. I am intentional about the people I surround myself with because energy is contagious. I want to be optimistic, joyful, grateful, and happy. Therefore, I choose to share my time with others who feel the same.  

Embracing your age

8. Embrace your age

I'm saying no to trying to look forever 25 years old by embracing my age and accepting the years I've lived. I like how I look, and I love all aspects of myself. I put my efforts into my health and feeling good because when I feel healthy and accept myself as I am, including all of my flaws, I feel beautiful.

Along with my wrinkles and silver hair, I have gained wisdom. I have the gift of living long enough to grow old. Age is a privilege that many do not get.  

How to say no to things

9. Keep chaos out

I do not invite chaos into my life. I strive for a calm, peaceful life. Life is filled with activities, work, and things to be done. This will never change because it's part of being alive. A busy life does not have to mean a chaotic life.

I keep a tidy, organized home and calmly move throughout my day. I treat others with kindness and show my family and friends that I love them. I believe to have love and light in the world; it should begin with me.  

How to say no to things

I hope I've helped you to think about what matters most in life. You can live happier and healthier by saying no to things and learning to simplify your life. Say no, give up negative habits, and enjoy your life!

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2 of 90 comments
  • Paula Bois-Brady Paula Bois-Brady on Oct 18, 2023

    Well said. If we are lucky we wake up and if we are luckier, we are able to get out of bed and move independently throughout the day. In spite of disabilities I've learned to make each day as positive as possible. This was my first read of the day, thanks for sharing your insights, they will brighten my day.

  • Helen Porath Helen Porath on Nov 04, 2023

    I,ve heard many of these ideas before, but I enjoyed the way you shared them with us. I am 83 years old. I remember the Swinging Sixties and, especially, Women's Lib which told us that women could do anything and everything, as long as they knew how to organize their homes. "Reach for the sky!" "Realise your dreams!" we were told. "You can have it all!"

    Many years later, I came to the conclusion that we have only a certain amount of energy -however organized we are - and that we have to choose how we use it. MOst of us can't do "everything".; we do our best and do what we can, and thank you for telling us that we should do what keeps us well and happy.