Saying no can make you healthy.

That’s what I’m finding.

Recently I went through a round of jury duty.  The two day process consisted mostly of sitting and listening for my name to be called.  Here in King county you don’t get called for a particular case, you get called to be in a pool for whatever cases happen over a two day period.

On the second morning I arrived a little early, checked in, and sat at a table where I could use my various electronic distractions.  Right behind me a woman who was determined to be unhappy arrived and began carping at one of the bailiffs about the 30 minutes of sleep she missed.  It wasn’t companionable carping either, she was blaming them for her early arrival.  Finally the bailiff calmly but firmly put an end to their conversation and the woman came to sit by me.  She threw her purse on the table and sat down with a huff.  I consciously decided not to be drawn into her drama and moved.  I immediately felt more peace.

Then a few days ago in my quest to get healthy I stopped by a local gym to check it out.  I walked in and loud music battered my ears.  The attendant was car-salesman friendly and I immediately realized this place was not what I was looking for.  Not just this place though, the whole philosophy behind the modern gymnasium is antithetical to what I’m trying to achieve.  I said no thanks and walked out the door.

In previous times I would have spent a great deal of time analyzing my actions and questioning my motives but I’m starting to realize that it’s ok to say no just because you don’t want to say yes.

Saying no when you want, or maybe more correctly not saying yes when you don’t want to reduces cognitive dissonance and reduces stress.  Reducing stress reduces inflammation in the body.  Reducing inflammation reduces disease.

Ipso facto, say no when you don’t want to say yes.  You’ll be healthier.