How To Set Healthy Boundaries: An Introduction
Knowing how to set healthy boundaries is more important than you might think. We all have limitations when it comes to what we feel comfortable or able to do in our lives.
Pushing ourselves to accept situations and experiences which drain our energy and harm our mood is detrimental. It stops us from living a happy life and increases dangerous stress levels.
Boundaries might seem restrictive at first, but they actually help you define what you want in your day-to-day life. Setting healthy boundaries and sharing them with those you interact with every day can keep you from experiencing significant emotional turmoil.
Today, we’re going to look at some strategies you can use to set healthy boundaries, and why it’s so important to have these guidelines in place.
What are Healthy Boundaries: An Introduction
Let’s start by defining what healthy boundaries are. A “boundary” is the limit you place around your emotions, time, physical, and mental health. It’s a strategy you can use to remain resilient and comfortable in your life.
Healthy boundaries keep you from dangerous and draining situations which make you unhappy or unhealthy. They can also help you create a fulfilled and balanced life, where you don’t feel too overwhelmed.
Personal boundaries are essential for happiness. If you don’t understand your limitations and share them with other people, you can quickly lose yourself in family obligations, relationships, or work. You may even end up feeling exploited or taken advantage of by the people you consider to be your friends and loved ones.
Healthy boundaries define what you’re willing to say “yes” to and what you should say “no” to so you can remain as happy as possible.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries: Top Tips
Setting and living by your boundaries requires the ability to understand yourself and communicate your needs to others. While there’s no one-size-fits-all guide for what your boundaries should look like, there are some things you can do to make setting them easier. For instance:
Know Your Limits
The first step in setting healthy boundaries is deciding what makes you comfortable and what makes you uncomfortable. For instance, if you like having a strict and consistent schedule, constantly being asked to change your work hours or adjust your routine for someone else goes against your boundaries.
When trying to determine what your boundaries are, ask yourself what kind of things cause you stress and discomfort in each part of your life. Think about what sort of things drain your energy and what makes you feel unsafe or scared.
Your boundaries should keep you feeling safe, supported, energetic, and happy. Anything which drains your energy or causes a negative emotional response should be removed from your life as much as possible.
Learn To Communicate Your Boundaries
Once you’ve defined your boundaries, the next step is sharing them. The only way people can respect your limits is if they know what they are. With this in mind, it’s important to be clear about what you can and can’t accept from other people.
For instance, if you don’t feel comfortable constantly working overtime, let your boss know that you won’t regularly work outside of your allotted hours (with some exceptions).
Communicating your boundaries also means knowing when to say “no”. Every yes and no you say will shape your reality and how other people treat you in the future. When something goes against your boundaries, you need to be ready to reject it and stand by your decisions.
Uphold Your boundaries consistently
Finally, it’s crucial to be consistent with the boundaries you set. While you might change your mind about your limitations in the future, it’s important not to constantly adjust your boundaries.
As hard as it can be to say “no” to someone you care about, you need to be ready to fight for your boundaries if necessary.
Remember, the people around you need clarity to understand your boundaries. If you tell your friend that you’re not going to let them borrow money any more but you constantly give in and hand over cash, you’re going to be sending mixed messages.
Other people will only respect your boundaries when you respect them yourself. Once you’ve decided what you’re not willing to compromise on, be committed to upholding your boundaries whenever the occasion calls for it.
Reach out for a free consultation call to help on your journey to set and hold boundaries with guidance and accountability.
❤️ Annie M Henderson
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