Personal boundaries are essential for maintaining good mental health. Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves in terms of how we want to be treated by others. By setting and enforcing personal boundaries, we can protect ourselves from emotional harm and establish healthy relationships.
When it comes to setting personal boundaries, it’s important to be clear and assertive. This means communicating your boundaries to others in a way that is firm yet respectful. It’s also crucial to be consistent in enforcing your boundaries, and to not compromise on them for the sake of pleasing others. If you lack personal boundaries in your life, your mental wellbeing can be significantly compromised.
Examples of poor personal boundaries
- Allowing others to invade your personal space without permission or consent
- Being mistreated by others to avoid conflict
- Overwhelm or exhaustion from putting the needs of others first
- Stress or anxiety from time spent in toxic or negative relationships
- Burnout from a poor work-life balance
Understanding your values to set personal boundaries
To establish healthy boundaries, consider your values and what is most important to you. This will help you determine the kind of treatment you want from others and what is best for your emotional wellbeing.
For example, if you share your living space with other people and value your alone time to recharge your batteries, it’s important to communicate this and take steps to help establish this boundary. You might do this by requesting people knock before entering your bedroom or give you an hour of alone time to unwind when you come home from work before they approach you.
Examples of healthy personal boundaries to set in your life
Here are 5 examples of personal boundaries that support wellbeing:
- Communicating with colleagues to not contact you after working hours
- Practice saying ‘no’ to excessive demands from others
- Ensuring people seek consent before physical contact
- Standing up to disrespect from others
- Taking time to rest when you need it
Setting healthy boundaries with ourselves
The key to setting effective boundaries is to be clear, assertive, and consistent in enforcing them. By doing so, you can protect yourself from emotional harm and establish healthy relationships.
In addition to setting boundaries with others, it’s also crucial to set boundaries with yourself. This means being mindful of your own thoughts and behaviours and taking responsibility for them. For example, if you tend to be self-critical, you may want to set a boundary that requires you to be kinder to yourself.
Overall, setting healthy boundaries is an essential aspect of self-care and good mental health. By being clear and assertive about your boundaries and being consistent in enforcing them, you can protect yourself from emotional harm and establish healthy relationships.
Our CAREinMIND counsellors are available 24/7 on 1300 096 269 or click the floating chat button on the right. The service is free for people in north, western and central Melbourne and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.