Boundaries are part of self-care. They are healthy, normal and necessary.
Setting and holding the line as far as your boundaries is a necessity in developing healthy relationships with the people around you and gives you space in your life to breathe. Boundaries are an essential part of self-care and developing and maintaining your boundaries means a happier and healthy you.
A boundary isn’t a wall but an invisible line that creates your personal space on a physical, mental and emotional level. Your invisible line gives you space to breathe without being affected by the people around you.
If you struggle to develop and hold your invisible line, here are 9 ways to help you:-
1. Accept Personal Responsibility
The first step to take control of your boundaries is to acknowledge that you, and only you, are in charge of your space. You, and only you, can define what is and isn’t acceptable in your life. You cannot rely on other people to respect your boundaries unless you set and respect them yourself. If anyone in your life tries to define your boundaries, do not hesitate to push them back across your line.
2. Know Your Limits
In order to set your boundaries, you must know your limits of what is and isn’t acceptable to you. You can’t set and communicate your boundaries unless you know what your limits are.
3. Listen To Your Body
If you are unsure about what you can and can’t tolerate, listen to your body. Feelings of discomfort or resentment are the key indicators you should look for. If it feels off. It’s off. Your body never lies and the feelings and sensations will tell you where you need to develop your boundaries.
4. Honour Your Needs
Honour your physical, mental and emotional needs first through self-care. You cannot give from an empty cup and by fulfilling your needs and replenishing your energy, you will have energy to spare for other people.
5. Give yourself permission to say No
No is one of the most powerful words in the english language. When you say no to others, you say yes to you. Give yourself permission to set and define your boundaries and say no to others when they step over your line.
6. Be Assertive and Communicate Your Boundaries
Not every person will have the same needs as far as their boundaries. Some people need more space than others. If you come into contact with a person whose boundaries are different to yours, clearly and concisely communicate your boundaries – be direct if you need to assertive your boundaries.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Developing and maintaining your invisible line is to develop a new habit. Start small with an issues that doesn’t feel too important to you and then move on to a more challenging issue. Practice makes perfect.
8. Use Discernment
As you develop and hold your line, you will find that you need a different amount of space in different situations. Your boundaries may need to be more flexible with family and friends than when you are with strangers. Use discernment to be flexible with your boundaries and the space you wish to create.
9. Be Mindful
As you develop your boundaries, you will naturally become more conscious of other people’s boundaries. Remember, every person’s boundaries are different, some need more space than others and tread carefully until you are sure of what is and isn’t acceptable to other people. Honour the people around you by respecting their No.
Setting and holding your line will take time, patience and a lot of saying no. The more you hold the line, the more natural the process will become.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.