How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Jun 10, 2023

Setting limits can be an effective way to safeguard and promote your mental health. Consider these boundaries you set for yourself and others as what you are and are not willing to do, accept, or tolerate. If you’ve been living without boundaries, it could be adding to your growing mental health demands. Let’s have a look at some useful techniques to start setting and communicating healthy boundaries with family and friends.

When you don’t create limits, you may become easily overwhelmed by the demands of others. Setting boundaries allows you to prioritize your own needs and make time for self-care activities that improve mental health. They can also help improve your communication and trust in relationships, leading to more fulfilling interactions. Some steps to setting healthy boundaries include understanding that different relationships call for different boundaries, giving yourself time to practice enforcing boundaries with others, and knowing when to move on from people who don’t respect your boundaries. As good mental health is a key component of recovery work, education in setting boundaries is part of a program available to you at Origins Counseling in Dallas.

What’s Considered Healthy Limits?

It’s helpful to look at how a lack of boundaries impacts your life. Some of these scenarios may seem familiar to you already.

• You may feel taken advantage of on a regular basis in particular situations, such as emotionally, financially, or physically.
• You might be someone who says “yes” to please others at the expense of yourself.
• To avoid a disagreement with others, you may overlook your own needs.
• You may feel unable to advocate for yourself or fear being rejected if you do not take whatever is handed to you.

Healthy limits, on the other hand, promote self-care by helping you prioritize your own needs and making time for self-care activities that promote mental well-being. They prevent you from feeling overwhelmed when the demands of others seem endless. Boundaries can reduce anxiety and stress by giving you back more control over your own life. They can also improve your relationships by ensuring your interactions with friends, family, and coworkers remain respectful while building better communication skills.

How Do Boundaries Help Mental Health?

Setting healthy boundaries can result in helping you feel safe and more comfortable, and they can have numerous other mental health effects. They provide the personal space you need, whether emotional, mental, physical, or otherwise. Limits you set also can help you avoid feeling exploited, assist in communicating your own needs, and increase your self-esteem. Boundaries are essential because they lay the groundwork for healthy relationships with yourself and with others. Consider a time when your lack of personal limits led to interactions that left you feeling devalued or unappreciated. By effectively setting boundaries and communicating them with others, they can help improve communication and trust in your relationships, leading to healthier and more fulfilling connections.

Six Steps to Setting Boundaries

1. Figure out what boundaries you need.

Take the time to reflect on what a lack of limits has led to in your life. Then, identify the limits you can put in place that work for you. These limits should allow you to function in life and work on your recovery without recurring conflict or interference.

2. Focus on yourself.

Allow yourself to focus on yourself and prioritize your safety and comfort. You may have avoided limits in the past because you felt guilty or expected a negative reaction from others. In reality, setting boundaries is a valuable part of growing healthy relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and people in your community.

3. Take the necessary time to communicate your boundaries.

Telling people about these changes doesn’t have to come all at once. You can introduce limits one at a time as situations arise. Whenever you decide to share them, be sure to use clear and direct language so you’re not misunderstood. It may help to practice what to say to certain people or even to write it down first.

4. Use I-statements to focus on your own feelings.

I-statements can help you stay focused on expressing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I-statements can be used to describe how you feel about specific situations, too. It can be as simple as saying, “I feel stressed when you show up at my home without any notice and expect me to be free to spend time with you.”

5. Consistently enforce new boundaries.

Expect it to take multiple interactions with someone who’s been used to a lack of boundaries from you to understand the changes in your personal limits. By staying consistent, you’re communicating that these boundaries are to be remembered and respected.

6. Know when to walk away or take a break.

For people in recovery, getting invited to return to behaviors involving substance use calls for a boundary to be set. If your friends ignore your boundaries involving drugs or alcohol, you can protect your sobriety and your mental health by temporarily ending any interaction with these friends.

Mental Health’s Role in Treatment

Sustaining recovery from alcohol or drug use requires good mental health. Substance use problems are often linked to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. It can become more challenging to achieve sobriety and stay sober if these underlying mental health issues are not addressed. Setting limits for safeguarding your mental health may lead to feeling hopeful, motivated, and purposeful and committing to sobriety more fully. Better mental health can help you control urges to drink or use drugs again and lower your chances of relapsing. You are more likely to continue practicing coping skills and strategies for dealing with stress and tough emotions, as well as recovering from setbacks. It’s also a way to improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

Origins Counseling is a program in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and evaluation, as well as renowned clinical care for addiction. We have the compassion and professional expertise needed to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-671-4124.

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