How To Set Healthy Boundaries

Back To Boundaries                                                                   

Have you ever said yes, when you should have said no? We all have, and guess what? We had to suffer the frustrating consequences of the decision later.

As people who live in the highly digitised 21st-century world, there has never been a greater time to set healthy boundaries in our lives than now. We live in a generation of exhausting expectations, pressures and comparisons, the need to always be available and stay connected, but in the end, we lose connection with ourselves. Perhaps we need to get back to basics, back boundaries.

Let’s remind ourselves of what a boundary is.

A boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line; or a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.

None of us would let someone just walk into our house and eat our food, rearrange our furniture and go into our private spaces without a protest! However, when it comes to our own lives and interior boundaries- our personal, emotional, spiritual or relational areas of our lives, we seem to struggle to set limitations. This is because setting boundaries is easier said than done.

Setting healthy boundaries is like putting up a fence; it is setting up your yard or property lines, helping you to understand your responsibilities while keeping you safe from external factors. Boundaries are not selfish. They are a GOOD thing!

With a little push in the right direction, you will be on your way to taking back control of your life, enabling you to live lighter and happier! Now how does that sound?


Types of Boundaries


  • Material Boundaries– These are the boundaries that we have around our possessions like our house, car, money, anything that belongs to you materially.
  • Physical Boundaries– These are the boundaries that control our personal space, privacy and bodies.
  • Mental Boundaries and Emotional Boundaries– These boundaries relate to our well-being and govern our values, emotional health, thoughts and opinions.
  • Spiritual Boundaries– These relate to our beliefs, spiritual experiences and relationship with God, your inner self.


Taking Care of Your Yard


Imagine you have a home with a beautiful garden. It takes work to keep that garden looking clean and beautiful. Work goes into it to make sure it is taken care of. You could try to ask your neighbours to do some gardening for you, but that probably would not work because what happens in our yard is our responsibility, no one else’s.

In the same way, our lives are our own yards. We each have the self-control to manage our yard and have a say about what happens around us.

Some of us have chaotic yards with little or no boundaries at all. We let anything and anyone into it. These may be in the forms of our sibling’s feelings, husbands decisions or our kids’ choices. A good way to know if someone else is in your yard is if you feel responsible for their happiness and actions. If you realise people are unhappy with you, you start finding ways to start making them happy again. As we do these things, we begin to sacrifice our own physical, mental and emotional health to make sure the other person is happy. A healthier way would be to recognise that their feelings are not in your yard; they have to take control over their well-being just like you have to take care of yours.

Remember, you can’t control others, but you can be clear about your values and behaviour you want to be associated with.

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