Setting Boundaries to Reduce Stress

Setting Boundaries to Reduce Stress

Have you ever felt as though stress is following you? It keeps popping up in all different areas of your life. Have you ever considered this stress is created from your lack of personal boundaries? Before I understood the purpose and value of boundaries; I just assumed they only had to do with others. I thought boundaries were the rules and regulations that you put on others. Can you relate? This led to disappointment because at the end of the day you can’t control what other people say or do. Boundaries are about you, they give you the freedom to make your own decisions and gain control of your life. You deserve to live a life where you are in the driver’s seat.

Boundaries can decrease your stress because it is a way of taking care of yourself. How many times have you said “yes” to something or someone because you were scared of what that person may think of you? I know I am WAY too guilty of this. Imagine if you stopped overextending yourself to others.

The next time you find yourself stressing out, you may want to ask this question. What parts of my life are giving me the most stress. Then you will have a better idea if you are allowing people, projects or even FOMO to control those stressed out parts of your life. The following are just a few areas where you may find it helpful to set healthy boundaries to reduce your stress.

Emotional boundaries

Emotional boundaries keep you from taking on the feelings of someone or the expectation that it is your responsibility to fix them. Is there a person that you lack emotional boundaries with? Maybe you feel as though you are always the giver and never the taker. Maybe you have trouble declining this person’s calls or saying no when they tell you to come over. You might feel as though this person depends on you to function or that you have to take responsibility for their actions.

Time Boundaries

Time boundaries can help you know your limits when interacting with and doing things for others. If you don’t have clearly defined boundaries on your time, then you are choosing to let others determine them for you. And that gives people the opportunity to take advantage of you. For example, let’s say your best friend asks you to babysit her kids. No problem right? Except she didn’t give you any notice and she asked you to watch them at least 2 times per week. Up to now, you almost always say yes. You say yes because you know she has to work late and you don’t want to let her down. Even though you feel this is the right thing to do, it is making your life more stressful. One boundary you could set within yourself is telling your friend that moving forward you won’t be able to babysit unless she gives you one week’s notice.

Financial Boundaries

Financial boundaries can be challenging, especially in your family. You might feel that you have a financial obligation to a parent or an adult child. In these situations, resentment could be growing towards this person. You want to be able to support and care for them, but it is causing your own family financial stress because of it. With financial boundaries, you are able to still give to your loved ones without disabling your own life. For example, you could set up a budget for an appropriate amount of money that you are able to give each month. This could be called your benevolence fund.

Ways to Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is not always easy, but it is important for your mental health and well-being. It gives you the opportunity to make decisions that are right for you. You can still be giving with your time, money, and emotions without constantly sacrificing your emotional, physical and spiritual well being. Choose to press through the fear of having tough conversations. Conversations where you teach people the way you want to be treated. Here are a few ways to set boundaries:

  • Clearly and quickly communicate your boundaries to others
  • Choose to work through the fear of saying the word “no”
  • Find an accountability partner
  • Identify actions that are deal-breakers for you
  • Learn to let go of guilt

If you are ready to stop feeling anxious from the stress of not setting Healthy boundaries then we are HERE for YOU. You do not have to walk this road alone. You can reach us at (405) 921-7776 or on the web at https://www.newvisioncounseling.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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