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  • Rob Lawrence

Boundaries: Your Secret Weapon For A Stronger, Happier, And Healthier Mind


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Discover the power of boundaries as your secret weapon for a stronger, happier, and healthier mind. Prioritize self-care and improve your mental and emotional health today.

 

Quote about saying no

Contents







 


Personal Boundaries


Have you ever asked yourself when is enough, enough?.... At what point does it go past the point of no return?



It's a conversation I had with myself a few years ago when I realized I had a hard time setting boundaries, especially when it came to saying "no" to family and friends.



In general I'd like to think that I've always been accommodating to others but at times it has felt less like being agreeable and more like being a bit of a doormat.... which I can tell you does absolutely nothing for a person's self-esteem.



Anyone else feel that way?




Over the last 6 years working as a therapist however, I have come to understand and appreciate the importance of setting boundaries (Kavčič & Kocjan, 2019).... I used to think prioritizing and putting myself first was selfish and rude but now I know it's actually do to with self-care and maintaining a happy and healthy mindset.



The bad news is that realizing this was the easy bit, putting it into practice, not so much which is why I'm writing this blog.....I'd love to share with all of you what I've learnt about setting boundaries not only working as a therapist but as someone who has struggled with saying no myself 😊


a quote about learning to say no

 

Firstly, Why Boundaries Matter


As human beings, we have a natural inclination to please others and avoid conflict. It's easy to fall into the trap of saying "yes" to everyone's request that comes our way, even if it's not in our best interest. However, this can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, resentful, and burnt out....This is where boundaries can help.



A meme about boundaries


Boundaries are a way of defining and protecting our personal space, values, and time. They allow us to say "no" when necessary, and set limits on what we're willing to tolerate from others. Having healthy boundaries is essential for our emotional and mental well-being, and it can positively impact all areas of our lives - from our relationships to our work and personal growth.



Boundaries also help us to maintain our autonomy and sense of self. They allow us to define what's important to us, and protect those things from outside influences. This is especially important for those who may have a tendency to people-please or take on more than they can handle. By setting boundaries, we can protect our time and energy, and ensure that we're putting ourselves first when necessary.






For Example.....



Like most adults there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done so we make choices about what to prioritize. The question I have to ask myself, however, is why am I spending what limited free time I have choosing to do stuff that I don't like or want to do instead of spending time doing things I do want to do?.....



I don't know why it took me so long to realize that because it seems like a no brainer right?



mental heatlh



Lastly, boundaries are essential for our personal growth and development. By setting boundaries, we can protect ourselves from negative influences or situations that may hold us back and as a result we can create spaces for ourselves to pursue our goals and passions, without feeling guilty or ashamed for doing so.



In summary, boundaries are an essential component of a healthy and fulfilling life and whilst it is uncomfortable to say "no" at first, setting healthy boundaries is ultimately an act of self-love that will benefit us in the long run.


 

Soundcloud Podcast About Boundaires




"A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble." - Mahatma Gandhi
 


How To Set Boundaries



I'm not going to lie and say learning how to set boundaries was easy cos it wasn't.... At the beginning I was going against all of my natural instincts to people please, but over time, I learnt to identify my boundaries by reflecting on my values and needs in the different areas of my life....



The sort of questions (Cloud & Townsend, 2002) I was asking myself included ⬇️


  • Reflect on your personal values and beliefs: This helped me identify what was most important to me and what I was willing to compromise on.

  • Be honest and direct when communicating your boundaries: This was difficult for me at first, but I found that being clear and honest helped prevent misunderstandings and hurt feelings.



  • Be consistent in enforcing your boundaries: This has been a challenge for me, but I've learned that being consistent is key to establishing healthy boundaries in my relationships.

  • Trust your instincts: Listening to my intuition has helped me recognize when my boundaries had been crossed and what to do about it.

  • Practice self-care: Setting boundaries in the beginning was really stressful and very uncomfortable but I trusted in the process reminding myself why I was doing this and I would practice self-care and forgiveness for those moments when I was second guessing myself.



a quote about trusting yourself


 

How To Maintain Boundaries



Maintaining your boundaries (Simon & Prasad, 2013) will be a lifelong commitment, and it can be challenging so here's a few things to keep an eye on that will help you stay on the path.... They worked for me.


  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining boundaries. If you let others cross your boundaries once, they will think it's okay to do so again.

  • Communicate clearly: If someone crosses your boundaries it is important to communicate this to the other person.

  • Say no without guilt: Saying "no" is not selfish, it's an important aspect of self-care. It's okay to decline requests or invitations that do not align with your boundaries...... Learn to forgive yourself.


Boundaries

  • Practice self-awareness: Pay attention to how you feel in different situations and with different people. This can help you identify when your boundaries are being crossed.

  • Set consequences: If someone consistently violates your boundaries it's important that you have reflected on what might be the consequences to their actions.

  • Celebrate your successes: Maintaining boundaries can be difficult, so it's important to celebrate when you successfully uphold them. This can help motivate you to continue prioritizing your well-being.



Final Thoughts

the last image of the blogger and his final thoughts

Learning how to and how to be OK with setting boundaries has 100% been worth the effort and for me.


It was never about just saying No No No to everything but more learning about myself and what my values, needs and limits are.


As always I hope you enjoyed the blog and if it helps anyone take back control of their life it's a job done.


I would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments, questions and feedback below.


I'd love you to sign up to the mailing list so I can keep you updated about the latest news and stuff.... and please share this blog as well..... It would mean a lot


Bye x


 

More More More


If you are interested in learning more about boundaries, there are several websites you can explore.


The website "Psychology Today" has a section dedicated to boundaries and provides various articles on this topic.


Another helpful website is "Tiny Buddha," which offers practical tips and advice on setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.



 


If you're interested in learning more about boundaries, I encourage you to use the Google search box to explore the topic further. Simply type in "boundaries" or a specific aspect of the topic you'd like to learn more about, and you'll find a wealth of resources and information to help deepen your understanding. Happy searching!



 

References



Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2002). Boundaries: When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Simon, G. M., & Prasad, S. (2013). Maintaining boundaries in psychotherapy: The role of self-disclosure. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 43(3), 133-140.

Kavčič, T., & Kocjan, G. (2019). Attachment avoidance and anxiety, self-criticism and self-compassion, and their relationship with personal boundaries. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 45(3), 463-477

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