Boundaries—there not something everyone feels comfortable setting, but learning the powerful skill of setting boundaries can completely change your life (and health) for the better. Having firm boundaries in all aspects of your life and in all of your close relationships can help you stand up for yourself, manage stress, and create healthier relationships.
Want in on setting boundaries like a pro even if just the idea makes you cringe? We have seven genius hacks anyone can use to set boundaries to boost health and feel their best.
Why We All Need Boundaries
So, why is setting boundaries so important anyway? Having boundaries in your life is important for a handful of reasons, many of which relate back to self-respect and self-care. Here are some of the reasons we all could benefit from a lesson in boundary setting.
- Boundaries Can Help Manage Stress
Having boundaries in place can help reduce stress (in a big way). When you outline what you are comfortable with and what you’re not, you’ll protect yourself from relationships that may cross certain boundaries, and you can stand firm with what you will and will not allow into your life. In doing so, your stress levels may naturally lower. You may find that visit with your in-laws is just a bit less stressful once you have a conversation around what your personal boundaries are.
- Creates Healthier Relationships
Setting boundaries can help foster healthier relationships. When boundaries are in place, relationships can be both mutually respectful. When you learn to set boundaries with your friends, family members, and even co-workers, you may find that your relationships become that much more supportive.
- You’ll Feel Heard & Listened To
When you set boundaries in your relationships and hold firm to them, you’ll feel more heard and listened to. And with this comes a greater sense of respect, and you may even feel more valued. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple boundaries to finally feel heard by a family member or a close friend who may have had no idea something wasn’t ok with you.
7 Genius Ways to Set Boundaries in Your Life
Ok, so you get that boundaries are important, right? But how the heck do you go about setting them? For most, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. But, with these simple seven boundary setting hacks surrounding health and fitness, you’ll feel like a boss when it comes to setting your own personal boundaries!
#1 Set Non-Negotiable Time For Yourself
If one of your goals is to focus on better health and fitness this year, then challenge yourself to set some time each day and call this your non-negotiable “me time.” Let your friends and family members know that this is the time you will not be available each day, and hold firm to this. If they hear your boundary loud and clear, they won’t tempt you with a coffee date during your workout time!
#2 Speak Up
While it’s not always easy to speak up, oftentimes, just voicing it once may be enough. For example, if your friends and family always tempt you with unhealthy foods, tell them that this is a boundary you are setting and that it’s not allowed. Voicing this can do wonders for getting your message across. Plus, once you set one boundary, you may find it becomes easier to set more. Practice makes perfect!
#3 Set Boundaries With Family Members
It’s also really important to set boundaries with family members, and especially those that live with you. Just like you carve out time to exercise each day and set this as your non-negotiable time, you may have to work on setting some boundaries related to what’s cooked in the house. Set some boundaries around what’s allowed to be kept in the house. If your weakness is cookies, get all the cookies out of the house. Let your family in on this boundary, and even offer them to join in on your healthy eating journey!
#4 Learn The Power of Saying No
Are you a “yes” girl? If you find yourself saying yes to everything, it may just be the people pleaser in you. But, with some boundary setting, learning to say no is actually a really powerful tool! Start practicing saying no when something doesn’t feel right to you. If you start to feel pressured, just say no thank you and stay firm. Hey, if it’s not an immediate heck yes, then it’s probably a no. You have to do what works for you, and setting boundaries around this will reduce more stress than you could imagine.
#5 Take Some Time to Pause
If you aren’t sure whether to commit to something or unsure of how to respond to something immediately, take some time to pause. Sometimes not responding immediately is the best thing we can do to evaluate if we want to commit to something, or how we want to respond to a certain request. Just give yourself a moment—it will ultimately help you make a more thought-out choice that respects your personal boundaries.
#6 Use The Power of Excusing Yourself
Listen, there’s nothing wrong with excusing yourself if something just doesn’t serve you or feel right. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, just excuse yourself. It’s not being rude, it’s respecting your boundaries. Just give yourself a break to go for a walk, or go take a bathroom break to take a few cleansing breaths, and if you have to return (like if it’s a work function), you’ll go back in feeling a bit more centered. Sometimes we need to step away for a sec to practice some self-care and return feeling better able to hold our boundaries firm.
#7 Set Boundaries With Yourself
We also can’t forget about setting boundaries with ourselves. We can do this by doing things like creating weekly meal plans and sticking to them. Or, carving out time for meditation, or an earlier bedtime and nighttime routine to reduce stress. Setting these boundaries with ourselves and holding ourselves accountable each day is huge for overall health and lower stress.
Use The Power Of Setting Boundaries To Optimize Your Health & Happiness
Setting boundaries can feel awkward, it can also provoke a lot of anxiety, but with some practice, it can make a massive shift in your life. With boundaries comes greater health and happiness. You’ll find yourself feeling less stressed, you may have more time for self-care, and your relationships will get stronger.
So, get out there and push yourself to set those much-needed boundaries. You’ll find with practice, it becomes easier and easier!