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What are personal boundaries and how do they help?

Clear boundaries are pivotal in letting others know what is and what is not okay. By doing this you are taking better care of yourself because at the end of the day, you can't be all things, or do all things, for all people.

What are boundaries?

Healthy personal boundaries are a reflection of your values, rules or guidelines and let others know how you want to be treated and what is, and what is not okay. Setting boundaries is a form of self-care and maintaining them can help you to not over commit and remain true to your values, needs and wants.

'But putting myself first is selfish'

If I had a pound for every time I have heard this! A reason people often struggling to set and maintain healthy boundaries is because they're approaching it in an all-or-nothing style.

Meaning that they think they need to put everyone else first OR put themselves first. It seems as if it’s one or the other and putting themself first seems too selfish so they default to prioritising others.

Setting healthy boundaries doesn't mean neglecting other peoples needs or not caring about them anymore, it simply means seeing your own needs as equal to theirs.

Boundaries are normal and healthy. They are not selfish and you are not selfish for setting them.

The benefits of healthy personal boundaries

Healthy boundaries can prevent resentment of others, reduce anxiety and increase self compassion as they honor your needs and wants so that you feel respected and safe.

Building and sticking to your boundaries can take some practice, but in the end healthy boundaries will help you in both your personal and professional life:

  • You develop a greater self awareness

  • You effectively listen and see other points of view while still respecting your own

  • Your more likely to have your needs met when you speak up and communicate them

  • You practice self-respect by standing your ground, increasing self confidence

  • By saying no to things that don't nourish you, you have more time and energy for the things that do!

  • You are less stressed, burned out or drained

  • You cultivate healthier relationships - family, colleagues, friends, partners, yourself

  • You lessen future conflicts and resentment when you just say 'no'

  • By setting physical, emotional and sexual boundaries you are safer and reduce anxiety.

Are you struggling to set boundaries?

Don’t worry, most of people aren’t that great at setting boundaries because they simply haven't been taught to do so, but that doesn’t mean you can't learn. All it means is you might need a little extra help and that is where an experienced therapist can support you. Contact me to discover how you can learn how to set boundaries and communicate them for a happier and healthier life.

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