Establish Healthy Boundaries in Three, Simple Steps
I recently discovered that my anxiety decreases and my happiness increases when I establish healthy boundaries. In this blog, I want to share with you three, simple steps to help you establish healthy boundaries in your life.
Establish Healthy Boundaries by Identifying Your Stressors
The first step to establishing healthy boundaries is to identify the areas in your life that cause stress. What situations or relationships monopolize your thoughts or keep you up late at night worrying? What areas of your life are you spending more time and energy than you would like?
The thing about boundaries is that in order for them to work effectively, you have to personalize them to your needs. So the first step in establishing healthy boundaries is to identify the stressors in your life.
Write Down the Healthy Boundaries You Have Established
Once you have established the areas of your life that cause you stress, brainstorm concrete boundaries that will reduce that stress. This sounds like a given, but often times we know we need boundaries in a vague sense but fail to establish a firm boundary that we can maintain — sometimes we need that line in the sand.
For instance, if you find yourself in the middle of a conflict between two friends, a firm, line-in-the-sand boundary could be to let each friend know that you are not going to discuss the conflict with them because you don’t want to be in the middle. Boundaries are vital when it comes to resolving conflict in a relationship.
Some boundaries aren’t as easy to identify. For instance, in my job as a residential manager and peer support specialist, my boss recently reminded me that this was just my job.
“Oh, I know,” I said, proud of my work and life balance. “When I leave at 4:00 p.m., I don’t even think about work all evening.”
My boss reminded me that even between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. this was still just my job.
Her words made me realize that I didn’t treat this like a job. Emotionally, I treated my clients like they were my friends, siblings, children, ect. and my boss knew that emotionally I needed to create a healthy boundary to avoid burnout. So, I established a firm boundary to care about my clients on a professional level, but reminded myself with each encounter that I am not actually the person’s sister or mother. I remind myself of this daily and it’s reduced my stress level at work tremendously.
Stick to the Healthy Boundaries that You Have Established
The third step to establish healthy boundaries is to stick to the boundaries you have set. You haven’t officially established a functional boundary until you put it into practice. I recommend writing down your boundaries and maybe even sharing them with someone else to help keep you on track.
These three steps have helped me establish healthy boundaries in my personal and professional life. I hope that they are able to help you as well.
Hoskin, A. (2015, August 11). Establish Healthy Boundaries in Three, Simple Steps, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2015/08/establish-healthy-boundaries-in-three-steps