Boundaries are a key part of establishing your identity, as well as vital for your wellbeing.
Boundary setting is an important form of self-care, because it decreases feelings of anger, resentment, and burnout. And when you properly-set and maintain boundaries, you can achieve greater fulfillment and less stress in your life - who doesn't want that!?
In the context of recovering from food and body image struggles (or even addiction) boundaries and self-care can include finding time for meaningful connections with those who support your recovery.
The opposite of this would be continuing to hang out with people who do not respect your boundaries, or who drain you energetically (less than ideal).
To start, try setting simple, yet firm boundaries with a peaceful or neutral tone-of-voice. There’s also no need to defend or to over-explain your feelings either. And anytime you are faced with resistance when setting boundaries, simply repeat your statement or request. I know this might feel uncomfortable at first, but as you get used to taking care of yourself, the power you gain will make it MUCH easier!
When setting boundaries, it’s important to use simple and direct language.
If you are trying to set a boundary with someone who’s angry or upset, you might say:
“If you continue to yell, I’m going to have to leave.”
If you would like to say ‘no’ to taking on extra commitments, you could say:
“Although my job is important to me, I must decline your request to volunteer extra time."
If you are needing to set a boundary with someone who’s critical, you might say:
“It isn’t okay for you to comment on my weight, so I’d like you to stop."
Far too often, women (especially those who are people-pleasers or perfectionists) feel a lot of fear --especially as it relates to being disliked. As a result, they fail to stand up for themselves by avoiding confrontation, which makes it even harder for them to set boundaries.
Ultimately, learning how to establish healthy boundaries is a MUST if you wish to feel happier in life....because once you have established strong and clear boundaries, people will give you more respect.
“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.” --Gerard Manley Hopkins
How do you set (or how to you plan to set) boundaries in your life?
"Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others." --Brene Brown
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