Creating Healthy Boundaries Is Important
If you do not have these in your life they can cause you a myriad of issues and deep unhappiness. Often you will not have been taught how to maintain boundaries. Having firm boundaries of who you are and what you need can allow you to live a happy, balanced life.
How Do You Know You Have Boundary Issues In Life?
- Do you say yes when anyone asks something of you?
- Are you a go to point for people at work when they need help or something done?
- Are you the kind of person who feels bad or selfish if you don’t do something someone asks of you?
- Do you feel bad or have trouble saying no to people?
- Are your relationships difficult or dramatic?
- You feel like making a decision is hard.
- Often you tend to over share personal information.
- Deep down, you feel like people do not respect you.
- You often wonder who you really are.
- Do you bear a deep fear of being rejected or abandoned?
- You worry that if you don’t fear people the will leave you or stop loving you.
If you answered yes to five or more questions above you could lack healthy boundaries. If you lack boundaries you can understand why you may have signs of anxiety or depression.
Where Do Boundary Issues Come From?
Trauma and problems in childhood set the foundation for poor boundaries. If you were abandoned or left as a child, you may compensate unconsciously to make sure that the current people in your life won’t do the same. You may have been taught or encouraged by mum or dad to please others and serve. You may have been disciplined when you voiced your needs and choices as a child. Children need love to survive. Thus, if you were withheld love as a child for being you and having your own needs met, you will have worked out other ways to get love. This will be through overcompensation, pleasing others, not meeting your own needs and letting go of your natural healthy boundaries.
How Do You Define A Healthy Boundary?
A boundary is a limit or space between you and the other person.
A clear place where you begin and the other person ends.
The point of creating a healthy boundary is to protect yourself and to feel respected. Boundaries ensure that you are emotionally, mentally and physically protected as a human being. They also help you avoid connecting to other people’s issues that have nothing to do with you. Hence, creating healthy boundaries helps you to live your life to your fullest and focus.
Who To Talk To About Creating Healthy Boundaries?
It can feel right to turn to people you are close to and ask them about what boundaries you need to create. If you have boundary issues and thus co-dependent relationships, this is a bad idea. Be wary of this. This means that it’s possible that many of your friends, family members and even partner are invested in you taking care of their happiness, not yours! So they may discourage you to create healthy boundaries as it affects them. Regardless of how well-intending they are, they will find it difficult to be completely honest about this with you. This is often why many people have these issues for so long until they see a good psychotherapist or coach. The other option is to do your own inner work, reading and digging into your past until you work yourself out.
People without healthy boundaries struggle with knowing who they are and what they need. They have looked after everyone else for so long. This is frustrating and confusing at truly knowing which boundaries need to be created. So start with prioritising yourself, giving yourself time and space to get to know you better.
Creating healthy boundaries is essential for you to be happy and live well again.
How Do I Get To Know Myself Better?
Set more time aside for yourself. So you can think about what you do love and what was it that you really enjoyed doing? When you have more space to yourself you can reflect about what you really need and crave. Writing it down in a journal is a great way to keep track of all the feelings and times you are stressed or anxious. Consider self-talk. Do you ever run yourself down? Guilt-trip yourself when you do the wrong thing? This needs to be turned around. Meditation can help calm your mind and body. But when uncomfortable feelings come up, it’s best to face that shadow and dark-side of the self.
When you hear that voice, you need to tell it,
“Hey it’s okay I made a mistake, I learnt from it and I will do better next time.” Be your own best friend.
Naturally, by keeping notes in a journal you will also identify your core beliefs, values and identity.
Chinese Medicine Support
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are ways to keep your mind and body well to support you through this significant and life-changing process. Chinese Medicine can help you deal with the physical side while you work on your emotional side and recreate your life. If you have signs such as poor sleep, stress, anxiety, panic attacks and depression this can be due to your lack of boundaries.
Chinese Medicine provides support to feel well again as you make the journey and transition. Contact Dr. Ilana Sowter, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist if you would like to book in and learn more.
Absolutely, self-care is a great way to start loving yourself again.
You know you lack self-care and boundaries if you know exactly how that person takes their coffee and must have their things a certain way but you forget how you like your own.
Remember those days when you would prioritise yourself and go to bed early because you were tired?
Or when you used to love taking a bath on a Friday night?
What about those long walks to the beach on a Sunday afternoon?
Self-care is refreshing as you bring back your loves into your life. It can also bring up sadness as you face your shadow. Sadness, regret and shame as you wonder why you stopped doing these things that were so important to you because you were too busy meeting someone else needs and not your own. This will also help you in creating healthy boundaries.
Establishing healthy boundaries is not a selfish practice. It is a natural and essential need in life. Without boundaries you are effectively other people’s doormat. If you are not important enough to have boundaries, then why are the other people in your life deserve more to overlap and overtake your own personal boundaries? Having healthy boundaries will allow you to be confident, stable and feel good about yourself. Amazingly, you will have more time and energy to focus on what you really want to do which is… live your life!
- Creating healthy boundaries will make you feel better.
- Boundaries don’t limit your joy, but protect and enhance it.
- They are not set in stone, you can change them as you need as long as it is the right thing for you.
- Having strict boundaries is not about being right or wrong. They are based on your needs and values.
How To Know When To Say No?
Many people struggle with saying no. You may feel bad or worry about what the person will think when you disappoint them. Remember that you are a person too and you have needs and your needs are more important than the person’s. Here are two ways to know when it is right for you to say no.
- If you are asked for something and you are not allowed the time to think about. Think again. This person is putting pressure on you. Tell them no or that you need to think about it. If you feel like you are not allowed the time you need to think it over then the answer must be a no.
- Ask yourself, “Will I be angry about this later or regret it if I agree?”. If you answer yes to this, then you can be more confident when saying no.
Am I Being Selfish?
Good question! Is creating healthy boundaries a selfish act? First of all, if you have codependent behaviours and have consistently abandoned your own needs for others, how can you be selfish now when you realise that you need to be prioritised in your life too? Of course you always need to help and be available to the people who need you, especially your children.
But if you have been self-sacrificing yourself and your life for others who do not consider yourself or your needs, it’s time for a change. No, you are not being selfish by waking up.
When you set boundaries, you will find that some people in your life will try to break the boundary you have set. Sadly, people this may be someone you love or are close to. Someone who tries to do something to you or make you do something that you don’t want to do are hurting you. Even if they make it appear as a joke or they are entitled to because you have let them in the past. This is manipulation.
You may be scared that you will lose people in your life if you set boundaries. Surprisingly, you will find that people who can no longer cross your boundaries will leave perhaps because they can’t use you anymore. You will then attract people of higher value and who respect you. This is a wonderful thing.
You Are Important, You Needs Matter
In conclusion, the whole reason in creating healthy boundaries is because you are important and you really do matter! Louise Hay pointed out the main reason you matter is because you live and breathe. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, your guilt, shame, upbringing, past, heritage, you matter because you are a living breathing organism. In order for you to truly flourish and fulfil your purpose here you need to prioritise and love yourself. You need people around you who are of value, and value and respect you for who you are.
Ilana Sowter, Holistic Health Coach in Melbourne
Do you need help creating healthy boundaries?
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At Femme Vital Acupuncture in the Inner North of Melbourne, find out how to break codependent behaviours, create boundaries, be the wonderful, divine, feminine woman that you are!
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