PSYCHOLOGY OF OUR PHYSIOLOGYWhy learning to say no is crucial to your overall health

Why learning to say no is crucial to your overall health

In the world of Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition, your mind, emotions and the state of your spirit is crucial to your physical, emotional and spiritual well being. The truth is that your physiology is deeply connected to your psychology. If you suffer from any symptoms and conditions, ranging from gut related conditions to immune  conditions to endocrine  conditions to neurological conditions, your mind and the your emotions can both contribute as root causes, and can be the reason why you are not finding complete resolution. 

Suppressed emotions, frustration of any kind, not feeling support from people around you, feeling a lack of safety, feeling lack of trust, giving too much of yourself can all be reasons why you suffer physically. The reality is that we live in a world that is extremely fast paced and we require conscious effort to remain balanced, calm and purposeful. When it comes to your personal well being, learning to say no sometimes is so important as it makes you the centre again. 

If you’ve had any childhood stress, chances are that you might be someone who feels the need to over extend yourself. Stress in early childhood or stress early on in life, can increase neuro inflammation making you less able to have mood control. It then sets your brain on a path of wanting to please the other person, and feeling the need to get approval from the other person, and not wanting to feel intimidated by the other person. All of this is detrimental to your health, for in order to feel a sense of empowerment with reference to your health, you also need to feel empowerment mentally.

If you are someone who finds it challenging to say no, are some of these personality traits you? 

  1. You over extend yourself all the time, and people constantly take advantage of your gentle nature to suit their purpose
  2. You want to please everyone and will go to any extent to do so, even if it is at the cost of your own emotional wellbeing
  3. You care more about others’ feelings than your own, and end up feeling more frustrated after certain interactions where people take advantage of you
  4. You then feel bitter and resentful within yourself that you are not nurtured to the extent that you nurture and think of others
  5. You answer every question you are asked by someone who is intimidating in body language and speech

The fact is that if you find yourself doing all of this all the time, your body is going to be set in the sympathetic nervous system response of your autonomic nervous system where you are in a permanent state of stress. This can make you overly anxious, mostly when it comes to pleasing others and doing all that is necessary to see that the other person is satisfied and that you have won their approval. Truth be told, you will never do that. All you will end up doing is emotionally setting the stage that you are ready to be taken advantage of. Physiologically, you will upset your breathing, your blood pressure can fluctuate, and you can have palpitations. Beyond that, you can reduce something called BDNF or Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is like growth hormone for your brain and protects it. You can increase brain inflammation which can then lead to multiple other conditions and symptoms, since your brain is at the centre.

So go ahead and start saying no now!

Learn to say no

Imagine the person whom you keep trying to please at the cost of yourself. Ask yourself if anytime you’ve overextended yourself to please the other person has helped you in any way. It’s time to start setting your boundaries and learning to say no. You don’t have to be weasley about it, and beat around the bush. You don’t have to cover up a no in a polite white lie. You don’t have to explain why you are saying no. You just have to begin to say no! It might be hard at first, but like anything else, it becomes easier and easier as you move along. Start saying no today because you matter!

  1. You do not owe anyone anything. Just as much as they don’t owe you anything, you don’t owe them anything either. You do not need to bend your beliefs for anyone, however close they are to you. If you have a set of beliefs which make you feel centred, then make yourself and your beliefs a priority. Even when it comes to a job where someone pays you, it does not make you obligated to take their nonsense beyond what is your responsibility. Similarly, when it comes to family or friends, you care for them but you do not owe them so much that you need to sacrifice your own spirit. I am so garteful to my husband who teaches me to practice this every single day! When it comes to collaboration of any kind, make sure that give and take are in equal measures. If someone collaborates with you, with no giving to you, that’s not collaboration. The fact is that if you were to try and please everyone, then you would have so many obligations, that you are in no position to create a vision for yourself and work towards making that greater vision a reality!
  2. Your happiness is within yourself. That said, it doesn’t happen magically when you put yourself behind others all the time. Think of one incident where your heart made you feel you should say no to someone, but instead you did not, simply because you didn’t know how to say no, and think of the pain that not saying no created within you later. No one else can understand what makes you happy, except yourself. Make yourself a priority!
  3. The truth is that you cannot make everyone have a great opinion of you. No matter how much you overextend yourself, some people do not care about you personally. They might enjoy the fact that they have power over you, but they are never going to connect with you on the same level. Perhaps this is from their own sense of entitlement, but is trying to please them all the time worth losing your health?

It might be really challenging for you to say no, but there are small ways that can help you shift your mindset that you matter. Start focusing on what you need to stay healthy and happy. Honour yourself and start listening to your needs and listen to your inner voice when you feel like saying no. Even just incorporating small nurturing practices for yourself can make you realise that you matter. Ask yourself why do you value someone more than yourself? Do you feel a sense of guilt when you put yourself before someone else? Ask yourself why you feel guilty? Does this go back to any relationship where someone made themselves the priority over you?

Tomorrow begins now. When you practice saying no, and set healthy boundaries, you allow yourself to move into the Parasympathetic Nervous System mode, where you can rest, digest and heal. It allows your gut to calm down and send positive feedback to your brain. It allows your entire immune system to settle down towards recovery. It supports every system in your body towards healing. Start saying no when you want to, and embrace a new you which will make you feel physically healed, emotionall balanced and spiritually whole!


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#testimonial Deepa's detailed approach and calm demeanour makes you feel you are in the hands of a healer. She is extremely knowledgeable and I can lean on her expertise. She answered all my queries. Highly recommend Phytothrive. Deepa has extensive knowledge in functional nutrition and wholistic wellness - her approach is deep rooted and methodical. It was truly life changing for me! I have learned so much from Deepa. I am able to better understand the why's and how's of eating for a healthy mind and body. I had chronic inflammation, insomnia and pain when I started consulting with Deepa. These eight months have been therapeutic in so many ways. I do feel empowered by the knowledge and tools that Deepa has painstakingly explained through her detailed notes and chats. I am really grateful for her guidance.

Sridevi #cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife @himalayan.yogi @mysleepwhisperer

#cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife #positiveintentions via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi ...

Truth is tricky. It’s so easy to try a new diet or protocol and slip into denial over symptoms that arise. A classic version of this is missing a period after intermittent fasting but trying to ignore it. For a woman your cycle is as vital in information as a lab test!⁣


Have you tried a new diet or protocol and ever convinced yourself that it’s working for you just because you’ve lost a lot of weight? Weight loss has become the highest parameter of efficacy even when there is chaos happening within which can include and not limited to:⁣

💛Frequent headaches ⁣

☸️Dysfunctional cycle⁣

💮Low iron or B12 within few months⁣

💜Frequent fevers and coughs⁣

💛Bad skin⁣

☸️Poor quality of sleep even if you are sleeping nine hours⁣

💮Mood fluctuation that includes anger, sadness and overwhelm⁣


Weight loss should not be enough if all this is happening as well. Health should come before anything else.⁣

#womenempoweringwomen #womenforwomen #womenoftheworld #womenstrong #empowerher #womenofimpact #sheinspiresme #holistichealing #holistichealth #holisticwellness #naturalhealth #naturalwellness #gutmicrobiome #nourishtoflourish #holisticnutritionist #integrativenutrition #foodasmedicine #foodmedicine #eatwholefoods #hormonebalance #hormonehealth #womenwellness #naturalmedicine #integrativehealth #microbiome #eatforhealth #immunityboost #healthyfoodadvice #healthyfoodguide #goodnutrition via @phytothrive_yogini @himalayan.yogi

Fasting is great! But I’m seeing a lot of people who are unable to get benefits from this ancient practice. My guess is that this has a lot to do with sequence, present diet, level of stress and what’s happening within their body.⁣


Some of the indications that the specific fasting approach you are following is not working for you are:⁣

💙Feeling more stressed and having poor resilience to stressors around you. This can include feeling weepy, angry or overwhelmed.⁣

💙Struggling with fatigue and forcing yourself to get through the fasting period irrespective of tiredness, dizziness or giddy.⁣

💙One of the greatest signs of impact is struggling with sleep. This can include inability to stay asleep and not being able to stay asleep for enough time.⁣

💙Not getting a period when you have always had a perfect cycle is a huge red flag. If your body thinks that it’s a state of emergency it shuts off reproductive function and you can miss ovulation and menstruation. I’ve actually heard women say they are happy about missing a cycle but this is really dangerous!⁣


Does this mean fasting is not good? Far from it! I call the fasting approach that I use in practice as Strategic Fasting. This refers to using fasting techniques in specific ways at specific times with specific foods in the feeding window. It can be immensely therapeutic provided you bring it in correctly. ⁣

#womenempoweringwomen #womenforwomen #womenoftheworld #womenstrong #empowerher #womenofimpact #sheinspiresme #holistichealing #holistichealth #holisticwellness #naturalhealth #naturalwellness #gutmicrobiome #nourishtoflourish #holisticnutritionist #integrativenutrition #foodasmedicine #foodmedicine #eatwholefoods #hormonebalance #hormonehealth #womenwellness #naturalmedicine #integrativehealth #microbiome #eatforhealth #immunityboost #healthyfoodadvice #healthyfoodguide #goodnutrition via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi

#cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife #positiveintentions via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi ...


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