By Janelle Avery, MS, INHC Health Coach
Why are traffic signals, white and yellow lines on the roads, medians and side guards, and crosswalks implemented today?
Maybe-- to keep traffic and life flowing in a way that keeps everyone productive and safe. It would be complete madness if we did not have laws and rules to follow.
Take a moment and imagine what life would be like without those strategies. Imagine what it may be like if five people decide not to follow traffic rules. I could sum up the result in one word, fatal.
Traffic signals, lines in the roads, safeguards on the sides; they are all transportation boundaries. When one crosses that boundary, unfortunate things happen.
Now think about your life. Do you feel like your life is “a mess” or “all over the place?” Are you so overwhelmed, busy and barely making it by, day by day? Have you set healthy boundaries in different areas of your life to keep things productively moving forward and lowering stress levels?
If you are like most people, you can always improve in the area of setting boundaries. Below, you will learn what boundaries are, why it is important and different ways to build better boundaries.
If you want to be physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally healthy, setting solid boundaries is essential.
You will protect yourself-esteem, maintain self-respect, and enjoy a healthy life.
What are boundaries?
Boundaries are guidelines that you create for yourself to identify what are reasonable, safe and acceptable ways for others to behave around you and how you respond when someone steps outside of those guidelines. Setting boundaries and sustaining boundaries is a skill and you can learn it.
Why is setting boundaries important?
- It creates time for positive interactions
- It ushers in healthy relationships
- You practice self-care and respect
- You obtain and maintain good time management
- You lower stress levels
- It keeps your organized and productive
- Freedom from bad behavior, fear or pain
What is hard about keeping healthy boundaries?
- Fear of rejection and abandonment
- Fear of confrontation
- Simply not taught
- Safety concerns (if this is the case, walk this out with a therapist)
5 Guidelines for setting effective boundaries
- Backup boundary setting with action
- Be direct, firm and gracious
- Don’t debate, defend or over-explain
- Have support available in the beginning
- Stay strong, don’t give in.
Start this conversation with yourself. Learning to set healthy boundaries takes time. Set them in your own time frame. Develop a support system, someone (or people) that can keep you accountable. Remember, we have a support team at New Heights Wellness Center for you. If you need help establishing some boundaries, or maybe just enforcing them, please, feel free to call us. We are here for you!