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Healthy Boundaries for a Healthy Life and Business: 5 Tips

Boundaries

When you create healthy boundaries in your personal life and business life, you are setting yourself up for success.  When those boundaries are blurred, you will suffer from burn-out, depression, anxiety and other unwanted side effects.  It can be challenging to set healthy boundaries when we have so many different people, tasks, and activities competing for our energy and attention.  It is time to get clear about what really matters in your life and then make decisions about who and what to let in and who and what to keep at a healthy distance.

What are boundaries anyway?  Remember back to biology class when you looked at the single cell under the microscope and learned about the cell wall, the nucleus, the cytoplasm, and all the other parts of the cell?  Each cell of your body has a cell wall.  This wall has to be strong enough to keep out toxins and bacteria while being permeable to allow water and nutrients in to nourish the cell.  It is the same with our psyche.  We must allow our hearts and minds to take in nourishing interactions, love, and energy-producing input while keeping out the negative information that can sometimes come with interacting with our fellow humans in an imperfect world. 

Some individuals are more prone to having blurry psychological boundaries than others.  For people who tend to be sensitive (emotionally, psychologically and spiritually) boundaries can be a challenge and they can become easily entangled or enmeshed with others “stuff”.  Other individuals struggle with rigid boundaries.  They may have been hurt by others and have erected rigid psychological walls to prevent themselves from being hurt again. 

Here is a short list of tips for creating healthy boundaries.

1.  Before you say “yes” to anything or anyone, take a moment to do a mind/body system check.  Scan your body for signs of discomfort.  Scan your mind for emotions that come up in response to the request.  If you feel discomfort bodily or emotionally, put off the decision until you have some time to thoroughly investigate.  You could simply have a stock reply ready that says, “I’m not sure if I can do that, I’ll get back to you in a day or so to let you know.”

2. Before you head off into your day (your work, your interactions, your activities), take some time to picture healthy boundaries encircling your body.  Picture your boundaries as permeable to love and positivity, but closed to other’s negativity, judgmentalism and bad ideas.

3. Pray.  Ask your Creator if this is something that is yours or if this is something that should not enter your personal-responsibility realm.  There are many times that God can speak to us about what to take on and what to stay away from if we will just take the time to ask.

4. Go about your life with a strong knowing deep down in your core that you do not need to take on other’s emotions, responsibilities, and causes.  You are unique.  You have a personality, talents, skills and an emotional make-up that is like none other – therefore, you will be drawn to different activities, callings, and relationships.  You do not need to take up everyone else’s idea of what should be.

5. Practice saying “no”.  Say “no” in the mirror and say it with force.  Every time you say “no” to someone or something that is asking you to do something that does not line up with your vision, you are saying “yes” to your unique calling, your unique self – and you are valuing yourself and others in this way.

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