The Joyful Anthology

On Boundaries

Boundary by definition is a line that marks the limits of an area. A dividing line of a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.
Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and to living a healthy life.
Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill that many of us aren’t taught.
Boundary building is a relatively new and challenging concept.
Healthy boundaries means knowing and understanding what your limits are.
Boundaries show that you respect and honor your own needs.
It’s important to set parameters for taking care of yourself.

Here are steps for setting boundaries

1. Name your limits: Identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. Those feelings will help you identify what your limits are.

2. Tune into your feelings: Identify how you feel by tuning into your body when in certain situations. If you feel uncomfortable, take note. Resentment might arise from not feeling appreciated or being taken advantage of. This could be a sign that you are pushing yourself beyond your limit.

3.Be direct: There are times you will need to be direct to set a clear boundary. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and set a boundary by being clear and direct.

4.Check in with yourself: Have the self-awareness to check in with yourself and notice how you feel. Honor your feelings, then make changes. Shift the relationships you’re in to set a boundary.

5. Give yourself permission: Don’t be afraid or guilty about speaking up. Sometimes we might feel we are not worthy of a boundary. Give yourself the permission and set a boundary for yourself.

6. Consider your past and present: Looking at your past and how you were raised in your family can illustrate additional obstacles in setting and presenting boundaries. The programming might be hard to break through if you’re used to being a caretaker. Now, look at your present relationships. Are they reciprocal? These are things to consider and work on.

7. Prioritize yourself: Give yourself permission to put yourself first. When you do this, your needs and motivation to set boundaries becomes stronger. Notice the things that make you happy and unhappy and honor your feelings.
Putting yourself first also gives the energy peace of mind and a positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them. When we are in a better place, we are able to be better in all our relationships.

8. Seek support: Boundary setting might be hard to do initially on your own. Seek support from counseling or friends that seem experienced. Books to look into that can support boundary setting are: The art of extreme care , Transform your life one month at a time. and Where to Draw the Line,  How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day by Anne Katherine

9. Be assertive: Following through is essential with creating boundaries. Sometimes it means taking the next step by explaining further what might be hurting you.

10. Start small: Like anything, it takes skill to learn something new, so take smaller steps at first and build upon your success rather than taking on an overwhelming task.

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