Dr. Nancy Snyderman, medical correspondent for Good Morning America, once suffered from the need to please—until she realized her health was in danger. Having the courage to say "No" is a commitment to your health, and may someday save your life.
  • The emotional build-up of not being able to say "No" increase your stress hormones, such as adrenaline.
  • Your heart can beat faster than normal.
  • Your blood pressure will rise and blood vessels narrow, eventually becoming a problematic condition.
  • Dr. Snyderman says these conditions "increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer—all the things that can put you in an early grave."
The "Stew and Chew" Theory
"In the old days, when we were primal and chased by wild animals, there was a 'fight or flight' syndrome," Dr. Snyderman says. "You stood and fought, or you ran away. Those stress hormones allowed you to escape danger. We don't do that anymore. We sit at our desks doing very sedentary things, and as we give too much of ourselves, we sit there and we fret and worry. We reach for potato chips and everything unhealthy. We stew and we chew, and we don't feel good about ourselves."

Saying "Yes" to You
  • If you think you're stressed, take time for your physical self! Go run up and down a few flights of stairs or take a quick walk. Dr. Snyderman says, "It will help release those primal hormones that are always in your body and make you feel better about yourself!"
  • Evaluate the relationships in your life. Dr. Snyderman asks: Are you at the service of people that are only "takers" and give you nothing back? "One day, you'll wonder why you're all spent, because you have nothing left!" Test the quality of your relationships .
  • Make it your responsibility to put yourself first sometimes. "That's not selfish, that's self-preservation," Dr. Snyderman says. "You'll have more to give people when you want to. When you have nothing left for yourself, and you have anger, you'll have that stress." Create an Absolute Yes List .


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