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I said ‘yes’ to everything for a year – here's why I can't wait to say NO

Undeniably, there's power behind the word ‘yes’. “Saying yes fundamentally opens up opportunity,” says Jordan Vyas-Lee, psychotherapist at mental health care clinic Kove. “It also works on a psycho-biological level,” he adds. “By switching the brain in to a positive mode, it orients our cognitive and emotional systems to an outward looking state of readiness. Growth is a fundamental aspect of human happiness and, without it, we eventually tend to feel apathetic. Saying yes allows you to feel like you’re advancing rather than staying stagnant for too long.”

Rather than shut down a conversation with the word ‘no’, positive affirmations also challenge our (often faulty) belief that we're not good enough or that we can't cope, says Jordan. “I can't reinforce how powerful the effect is, nor in how many instances people surprise themselves with their innate skills and coping strategies when faced with situations that might otherwise have been avoided.” 

But saying ‘yes’ to everything is also a double-edged sword. It didn't leave me feeling as empowered as I thought it would, as it ultimately took away my choice. I no longer had boundaries and started feeling increasingly burnt out. 

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