5 Ways Setting Boundaries Can Improve Your Health
Boundaries are limits or barriers that you set for yourself and personal relationships on how people treat you, behave around you and what they expect from you. Setting limits are not only for establishing healthier interpersonal relationships and connections, but to improve your overall quality of life.
It is essential for all individuals to develop this skill in order to maintain a healthy balance between one’s work, social, and personal life. When you do not set healthy boundaries and learn to say no, it can cause unnecessary stress and affect your overall health. It is natural to want to please others, but if saying yes too often leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and swamped with undesirable obligations it may be time to reassess the nature of your relationships and what you are currently allowing. Common effects of not establishing limits include:
Feeling overwhelmed by the demands of others or stressed due to not having enough time for yourself may be a sign that some boundaries need to be put into place.
This can intertwine with being stressed in a sense of resenting people who are asking too much of you, which may happen quite often. Do you find that you are burdening yourself with others’ requests? Do you feel discontented at your partner or subtly dissatisfied with the way your friendship is? Be sure to assess how you can set limitations to prevent from getting to this point.
Anger or Annoyance
This could be a combination of being stressed and resentful of your current relationships and ultimately affecting your happiness. If you find yourself being annoyed, examine the dynamic of your relationships and how they make you feel.
Your relationships may sometimes be even more difficult because there aren’t any boundaries set in place. Lack of boundaries can create more drama in your connections when one’s needs are considered more than the others. Setting clear limitations is a way to help you and the other individual.
A few reasons why many do not set clear boundaries could be due to:
Having a fear of rejection, loss of relationships, or fear of conflict
The fear of conflict is an understandable one, especially if you are creating new boundaries in existing long-term relationships in which questions may be raised by the other party. Rest assure that the result may be well worth the change in your relationship dynamics.
This may be self-explanatory, but some find it difficult to not cater to the needs of others and my often make sure the needs of others are met before their own. This could originate from one’s childhood in the early stages of learning boundaries that has carried on well into adulthood.
You may set a boundary with someone by saying no to attending an event or loaning a certain amount of money and subsequently feel guilty. Though it is a normal reaction to feel compassionate, it is necessary to remind yourself that setting boundaries are okay and not a declaration of rejecting someone, especially if it is at an inconvenience or of harm to you.
The key to setting healthy boundaries is to do an assessment. Assess the current state of your relationships and your existing quality of life. Are you full of energy and excited to meet up with a friend or co-worker or are you exhausted and secretly resenting saying yes to meeting up for cocktails to hear messy gossip? Once you assess the present state of your boundaries and compare that to your quality of life or how you feel, you will be more inclined to make some changes within your interpersonal relationships.
Now that you’ve established what boundaries are and how a lack of boundaries can affect your quality of life and where it may derive from, let’s get into the positive ways setting limitations can improve your general health:
Raises Self Awareness
Setting clear boundaries allows you to assess the state of your current relationships and how they make you feel or how those interpersonal relationships effect your life. You will become more motivated to check in with yourself and how others’ behaviors or requests make you feel if you are experiencing a negative impact. More importantly, you’ll be able to determine if your own behaviors are hindering you or helping you live your best life.
Increases Personal Fulfillment
When you set limitations on what you choose to do or accept from others, you make room for your personal needs and improve personal satisfaction. Instead of saying yes to that function that you know you won’t enjoy and ultimately taking time away from you starting your passion project, take a rain check and get busy completing your personal goals that you have for the day.
Can Boost Energy Levels
Sometimes, when you lack healthy boundaries in your life, you may tend to overextend yourself in certain situations. Perhaps a co-worker needs assistance on a lower priority time consuming task which interferes with your project deadline; this will be the time to suggest a solution or help after your responsibilities are handled first. Of course, you will need to maintain a poised approach when doing so, but saying no to certain tasks, favors, or situations may give you the extra energy you need to uphold your own responsibilities.
Improves Ability to Make Decisions
Many people quite often have difficulty making decisions when there are no boundaries set in their relationships. This could look like putting the opinions and needs of other above your own, thus confusing your ability to make the best decisions for yourself. This could be anything from, lending money to a friend, stranger or relative, when you may not be in the most stable position to offer money; or it could be saying yes to a girls’ trip that may not suit your budget and may push back your personal financial goals.
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Setting boundaries reduces levels of stress and anxiety for a variety of reasons. The result could be that you are no longer weighed down by the demands of others, no longer in uncomfortable situations and can stay true to yourself and personal needs, while ultimately improving your connection to others.
Setting limits are not only for establishing healthier interpersonal relationships and connections, but to improve your overall quality of life.
The key to setting healthy boundaries is to do an assessment. Assess the current state of your relationships and your existing quality of life. Are you full of energy and excited to meet up with a friend or co-worker or are you exhausted and secretly resenting saying yes to meeting up for cocktails? Once you assess the present state of your boundaries and compare that to your quality of life, you will be more inclined to make some changes within your interpersonal relationships.