How to set boundaries in relationships for your health.
If you are not setting healthy boundaries in your relationships, it doesn’t take long before it affects your health. Relationship trouble is taxing on your body and mind. You spend mental energy on arguments in your head, hashing out conversations and it raises cortisol levels quickly.
Stressful relationships can lead to:
- Low Self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Leaky Gut
- Weight gain
Taking care of your self and your body involves learning how to set boundaries in relationships. When you are stressed you are more likely to overeat, make rash decisions and lose sleep.
When someone oversteps their bounds in your life or you are finding yourself arguing with someone it can turn on your fight or flight response causing high blood pressure, cortisol spikes, and weight gain.
Do your relationships need boundaries?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to find out if your relationships need boundaries.
- Can I be completely myself around this person?
- Do you work harder on their problems than your own?
- Do I change my behavior to avoid punishment (silent treatment/anger) from them?
- Do I tiptoe around them because I am afraid of what they will say or do?
- Do I feel relaxed around them?
- Can I talk about any subject in a mature way around them?
If you find yourself tensing up or changing your behavior around certain people maybe they have too much access to your life. Are you walking on eggshells to prevent a certain behavior?
Living in unpeaceful relationships is very hard on your body. Not only is it draining on your mental health, it taxes your adrenal glands and creates stress chemicals in your system.
Chronic stress can actually lead to a leaky gut.
You need healthy boundaries in your relationships. Not everyone you know should have the same access to you.
If you don’t know how to set boundaries in relationships you will burn out and allow others to control your time and energy. It’s not selfish to set up boundaries, it’s actually very healthy. You keep control of how you spend your time and how much access people have to you.
How to Set Boundaries in Relationships
Different people should have a different level of access to your life.
For example, my household (my husband and kids) have complete access to me. I will drop anything for them, they can always call at any time, nothing comes before them.
Outside of our household, people have different levels of access to me. This doesn’t mean you turn your love off to these people, it means they get limited amounts of your time and energy.
I will not work harder on their problems than my own.
I will not spend my time trying to change someone who doesn’t want to change.
I will not allow the same person to repeatedly hurt me over and over.
I will not change my behavior or my beliefs to appease others.
It’s not your job to be everything to everyone and you should not be working harder on peoples problems than they are.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
The Needy Friend:
Maybe you have a friend calling constantly about her problems and she never takes the advice you give her. Next time she calls you could say “I’m busy right now, but I have time to talk Friday afternoon” Make sure you keep your Friday date. You love your friend but she doesn’t get to control all your time. She doesn’t get to make your schedule, that’s your job.
A Family Member That Has Too Much Access:
Do you have an extended family member shooting down your ideas and dreams? Time to give them some space, you can still love them and talk to them but not about your ideas and dreams. Those are too precious to be shot down by skeptics.
Maybe you have to discuss a hard subject with someone. If yelling starts you simply tell them “We can keep discussing this when both of us can be respectful”. I will not be subjected to arguing, yelling, belittling or demeaning behavior. If people can’t discuss something in a calm respectful manner, they don’t get to talk to me. Period.
Knowing how to set boundaries in relationships give you control over your time and energy. It also gives you peace.
We all have those hurtful people in our lives… let’s call them sharks. They take bites of us and are dangerous to be around. They don’t know how to discuss things in a respectful manner and they are harmful to be around. Sharks are going to stay the farthest away from me. Do I love sharks? Yes. Do I still talk to sharks? Yes, occasionally but only about superficial things, not my hopes and dreams.
I keep my distance because I know they will strike if given the space too.
People who are unsafe to be around either physically or mentally, get limited access to me. I never give anyone the silent treatment. All people are treated with respect and love but that doesn’t mean I am a doormat or will allow them into my personal life.
You should love yourself enough to raise the bar of how people treat you.
You deserve to be treated with respect and love.
You need to be around people who bring out the best in you!
People who encourage you to dream big and shoot for the stars. People who see the gold in you and remind you often of who you are.
Creating healthy boundaries in relationships:
- Gives you your power back
- Let’s you make your own schedule
- Gives you self-confidence
- Gives you peace
- Helps you feel powerful and confident
- Keeps your personal life safe
- Let’s others know you deserve respect
Voice your expectations:
Always let people know what they can expect from you. Don’t say yes to ten different things you can’t complete. Be honest right from the get-go about what you can commit to with your time and energy. Learning how to set boundaries in relationships involves letting people know exactly what to expect from you and not over-committing.
Confront in a healthy way:
If someone has misunderstood you or hurt you it’s absolutely appropriate to ask them about it in a kind respectful way. Instead of telling another friend how the first friend hurt you, go right to the source and speak from your heart with their feelings in mind. Your goal should be a connection, not being right.
Take some time to evaluate how you are making people feel. Are you promising to fix every problem they have? Trying to control them? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your own life and what changes you need to make.
Keep Your Love On:
Always keep your love on. You can choose to be kind and respectful to anyone no matter their behavior. That doesn’t mean you trust them or give them access to your life. Every human deserves respect and love but that doesn’t mean they can have full access to you or even a little access.
I can be kind to a family member who has a criminal history but that doesn’t mean they have full access to my house and kids.
A healthy mindset knows that you have the freedom to be you in any situation. If you need help in this area the Free Calm Body, Clear Mind Workshop is a perfect way to get started.
If you feel bogged down, stuck in survival mode, or like you just can’t access your full potential… Or if you experience debilitating fatigue, fuzzy thinking, or persistent, endless worry…
If you suffer from brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, or depression the Free Calm Body, Clear Mind Workshop is for you!
It’s a balance of learning how and where to place people in your life. People’s access levels will change based on what season of life you are in and what you are going through.
You are not a victim, you have the power to love others and not take on their problems.
No matter what, make sure you control who has access to you or people will do it for you.
How to set boundaries in relationships: Let us know how you set boundaries?