How to Set Boundaries for Your Mental Health


Knowing when and how to set boundaries with people, situations and environments is highly important to your mental health. Boundaries can be described as the rules and limits that you establish for your security and well-being around others. In order to feel safe and comfortable, you should express and make it known how others should act around you or in certain situations.

How to Set Boundaries for Your Mental Health

While boundaries are not set with any one type of relationship, they can be expectations between loved ones. For example, how much time you may need by yourself, or letting family members know they should not speak negatively about your friends or lovers. The workplace is an important area to set boundaries as well. At work, you can set the standard that you will only work during the hours stipulated in the contract. If boundaries are crossed, it can cause stress, discomfort, and even burnout.

Make Yourself Number One

In order to understand what kind of boundaries you should be setting, you should always know that you come first. You should never sacrifice your well-being or mental health for anyone else.

When we put others ahead of us, we put our needs on the back burner, which can be detrimental later on. Putting yourself first will allow you to understand what you feel and make decisions that will contribute to good mental health and wellbeing.

Become More Self-Aware

Working to improve self-awareness is one of the most important practices. This means becoming more aware of why we make the choices we do. By understanding this we can consciously make better decisions for our own benefit.

It is important to know what makes you feel safe, what makes you feel comfortable, and what makes you happy or excited. Self-awareness is the first step to becoming more conscious of your actions and choices which will serve you well throughout your life.

Do Not Let Your Boundaries Break

When you are setting boundaries, you have to be true to yourself and be tough. Do not let anyone cross your personal boundaries.

One of the hardest parts about setting and having boundaries is making sure that they are enforced. It is very easy, especially for some people, to let others cross the boundaries they have set. However, once the boundaries have been crossed, you are showing the person that what they are doing is okay and they will more than likely do it again. For example, if you work extra hours one week without extra pay, you will most likely be expected to do the same thing again.

Express Your Boundaries

Unfortunately, not everyone can read minds and not everyone thinks the same way we do. That is why when you set boundaries, you need to tell the people involved. Communicate your boundaries in a way that is simple and clear for them to understand.

It is also important to know that you do not owe anyone an explanation as to why you have set that boundary. While this is easier said than done, you do not have to defend or apologize for it.

Small Steps

You do not need to wake up one morning and tell everyone all the boundaries you have set. Understand that setting boundaries takes time and you can do it one small step at a time. Work your way into the bigger boundaries when the time is right. If you are struggling with a boundary, take the time to sit and think of an approach to the situation. This can help you to feel more comfortable when the process happens.

Sometimes You May Need Help

There may be certain individuals that you are extremely worried and nervous to try and set a boundary with. Know that this feeling is okay. There is no harm in asking friends and family to back you up or provide help. Preferably ask someone who is able to calmly help in the matter. This person will need to be able to help deliver the message and communicate effectively. They should also have an understanding of the situation you’re in. This is necessary in order to help set the boundaries that will contribute to your positive well-being and mental health.

Helpful Information: Guide to Protecting Your Emotional Space

Blue Sky Counseling Omaha – Mental Health Counseling

I, Carly Spring, M.S., LIMHP, LADC, CPC, offer my specialized expertise to assist in the healing process to anyone who may be experiencing and suffering from a vast spectrum of mental health issues. Such mental health issues include behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, addiction issues, and life transitions. I believe strongly in applying a holistic perspective addressing your whole person not just the bits and pieces of you. Contact us with any questions or to discuss gambling addiction services in Omaha today.

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