Feb 14, 2024 | Mental Health

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

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Setting boundaries is important for many reasons. From preserving your mental health, to maintaining healthy relationships, to prioritizing yourself, it is key to understand the impact these issues can have on your personal and professional life. Today, we want to discuss more about boundaries, and offer some background as to why setting them is critical to your well-being. 

What is a boundary? 

As described by Better Help, “boundaries are limits (think of an invisible line) you set for what’s acceptable for your body, emotions, time, and belongings, to form healthy relationships. They are not rules about how someone else “should” act or conduct their life. Boundaries help someone establish their needs, and put them first, instead of leaving them on the back burner in order to please others.”  

Boundaries, in all aspects of our lives, play a critical role in our mental health and overall well-being. They help offer a sense of control over personal space, emotional health and physical limits. Once you set boundaries, communicating them to people in your life, and maintaining them is imperative.  

Why are boundaries important? 

Now that we have a better understanding of what exactly a boundary is, let’s delve into why they are important.  

Protects your well-being 

Boundaries are key in protecting your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. For most, setting healthy boundaries helps prevent burnout, stress, and exhaustion, allowing you to focus your energy and time on things and people that fill your cup. While it is natural to want to please others, taking care of yourself and practicing self-care is key to maintaining your mental health. Therefore, consider your needs, and set limits. This will ensure those needs are being met in your personal and professional life. 

Maintains a strong sense of self 

Setting boundaries allows individuals to maintain their individuality and autonomy. When you set healthy boundaries with those around you, you are respecting who you are and establishing clear expectations of what you want, and don’t want. In constantly seeking to please others, you put your own feelings or needs on the backburner. In doing this, you are more likely to become overwhelmed, stressed, and lose your sense of self. Therefore, honour your choices, stand firm in your boundaries, and continue to make decisions that align with your values and priorities. 

Establishes healthy relationships 

Boundaries are essential to maintaining healthy relationships with others. They help provide a strong foundation, which is built on mutual respect and understanding where you value the decisions of one another.  

When you have people in your network who honour your boundaries, you quickly learn the importance of those people and create a supportive environment that allows you to thrive. For those who don’t honour your boundaries, you are able to recognize the negative impact they have. In turn, you are given the opportunity to reflect on the relationship, and whether it is something you want to continue putting your time and energy into.  

“Your boundaries are the rules for how others learn to behave around you, how you want to be treated, what you will accept and what you will not — they are based on your own needs and wants. It is not selfish, rude, pushy or self-centered to make these requests.”

Forbes 

Effective communication 

While it can be challenging at first, clearly defined boundaries can benefit communication. By expressing your needs and limits, you create space for open and honest communication. You become more confident in your ability to speak up, and make your boundaries known. This helps you feel more confident, while also limiting misunderstanding or conflicts. 

It is essential to prioritize your boundaries and ensure that others are respecting your choices. While not an easy process, you will find that in doing so, you create a network of people who truly support and care about you. Be sure to come back next week, where we will offer some tips in how to set healthy boundaries. 

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