Why Setting Boundaries Is Healthy For You

Boundary situations show up at home,in the office,with friends,and extended family and within each of us.

One of the biggest benefits of setting boundaries is learning how to say no,particularly to other people who use up your time. hinders you from overcommiting,which keeps you free to focus on what you value most.As you become more assertive, you will feel stronger.The result will be win/win,without compromising or alienating your relationships. The benefits of boundaries are clear,yet few women are competent at this.Setting boundaries is especially difficult for women because they are natural caregivers and nurturers.When others ask for help,they seldom refuse.Even when they do set boundaries,they are inconsistent.

Here are helpful strategies to simplify your life and make it easier to say no.

  • Having Personal Boundaries

The purpose of personal boundaries is to seperate you from others. People who lack healthy boundaries are often vulnerable,frightened and bombarded by life.

In the external,physical world boundaries such as fences,walls,and property lines are easy to identify.Personal physical boundaries include personal space,your bodies, and your sexuality.Physical boundaries may also include things like shelter, money,clothing and time.Mental and emotional boundaries involves your feelings,thoughts,relationships, choices and responsibilities. Spiritual boundaries relate to religion,spiritual beliefs, relationship to God and your sense of purpose.

You need good boundaries for balance, for self-protection and especially to establish inner harmony.You also need them for building and maintaining healthy relationships, and for raising responsible kids.They are an indispensable tool in today’s invasive world.

  • Create A Boundary Checklist

These are warning signs that you need to set boundaries

1. You say yes when you mean no.

You sat yes to helping with the fundraiser when you want to say no.

2. You have a hard time being assertive

Someone jumps the line in front of you at the store.Instead of speaking up,you rationalize that she only has few items and won’t take long- yet inside you are seething.

3. You give in because you prefer to avoid conflict.

The manager at work is yelling about some project she is waiting for. You are already feeling overwhelmed and know she is being unrealistic, but you stay late rather than confront her.

4. You find yourself bombarded by life.

Exhausted after working all day,you come home to your other job, kids,rides,meals,phones,e-mail,pers and othe chores.

5. You give past the point of love.

Your elderly mother wants some attention.You take her to lunch,buy her some groceries,and are ready to go home when she mentions how messy her apartment is.You spend the afternoon resentfully cleaning.

6. You suffer from the disease to please.

“Don’t worry,I can do without lunch and get those calls made,” you say.Just to please your boss.

7. You feel emotionally,physically,and spiritually exhausted.

At the end of the week,when you are tired,empty and still not caught up,you ask yourself, “What’s the point? Why am I living like this?”

Don’t worry if you answered yes to one or more of these questions.You are not alone.Having poor boundaries is the number one reason most women have no energy or feel frazzled,joyless,overburdened,resentful and unhappy. It’s insanity to live in today’s world without the protection of boundaries. Life and people will simply push you around.

Now,when establishing boundaries,don’t expect your life to change overnight. This would be unrealistic.You would be setting yourself up for disappoijtment and discouragement.Boundaries take time and settimg them with those you love is uncomfortable at first.Be sensitive about this. Slow,steady progress is more likely to succeed- and in turn you will feel encouraged to keep going.Unfortunately,boundaries-like many major life skills are not taught at school. If you are like most women,ypu can probably do with some improvement here.

  • Discount Your Misguided Beliefs

If you find setting boundaries is difficult, you may be stuck in old programming.Maybe you ‘ve heard phrases like these:

•Be polite to others.

• Be nice.

• Don’t hurt her feelings.

• Put on a happy face.

Inorderwords, deny your feelings,always put other people’s feelings first and ignore your own instincts- all for the sake of looking good,being liked,or keeping the peace. We are systematically taught to look outside ourselves for validation; always caring what others think or worrying how they might react to you.This robs you of inner harmony,integrity and self esteem.