Mental Health and Boundary Setting
By Saima Banoo, Clinical Psychologist
Mental health is not only the absence of mental disorders, rather, but it is also a condition of mental wellness that helps people to manage life’s stressors, recognize their potential, learn and function successfully, and give back to their communities. It is an essential component of health and well-being that supports our ability to make decisions, develop connections, and have an impact on the world in which we live. Many individual, societal, and structural influences may interact throughout our life to either enhance or impair our mental health and cause a change in where we fall on the mental health continuum. To safeguard our mental health, we should establish healthy boundaries in both our personal and professional interactions. It is crucial to have both physical and emotional limits around ourselves, just as we have physical ones around our homes, like a fence. These boundaries aid in defining who we are and what we will be accountable for in our own lives as well as that of others.
Establishing boundaries is so crucial for our mental wellness because it helps in,
- Developing a higher sense of self
- Clarify your identity, your goals, and your values and beliefs.
- Put yourself and your health in the forefront.
- Improve your emotional and mental well-being.
- Prevent burnout
- Become independent
- Get a stronger sense of who you are
Ways in Which Boundaries Could be Use to Improve Mental Wellness
The greatest method to begin establishing boundaries is to provide straight, frank, and honest feedback regarding your limitations. Consider the following suggestions:
- Express yourself verbally: While discussing your opinions and feelings with another person, be transparent but respectful. It’s acceptable to spend some time before and after the conversation to collect oneself. But don’t use that as a justification for not telling them how you feel.
- Never make assumptions about another person’s feelings: Many misunderstandings in a relationship can be caused by assumptions. Even if you might think you know someone well enough to be able to infer what they are thinking, it is always preferable to inquire as opposed to making a guess.
- Putting your words into action: Establishing limits but failing to enforce them allows the other person to believe they have a justification for continuing to transgress them. Never deviate from your restrictions without giving them great thought. If not, you can end yourself making compromises that you don’t agree with.
- Identify your limitations: To recognize your needs on a physical, emotional, and intellectual level and better communicate them to others, sit with your feelings and write down what you need. The boundary circle is a useful technique for this. Make a circle on a sheet of paper. Write out what you require in it so that you can feel heard, supported, seen, and protected. Write outside the circle for anything that directly contradicts or interferes with it.
- Have an attitude of personal accountability: Consider your decisions in a relationship and whether they might have contributed to the circumstance before assigning blame or venting about it or how you’re feeling.
- Understanding when to move on: Although you can express your preferences for how a partner should behave, you are not accountable for their thoughts or actions.
- Start small if you feel uneasy or apprehensive about creating boundaries: Working your way up, begin by establishing a small limit in an area that feels more achievable. While establishing a boundary, if doing so makes you more at ease, you can suggest an alternative.
- Develop self-awareness: Setting boundaries includes prioritizing your comfort so that you can feel safe and be present with others, but you must first recognize and respect your feelings to do so.