The Healing Journey
Tips for Improving Your Mental Health
Mental health is crucial for living a happy and fulfilling life. One powerful tool that can help us safeguard our mental health is setting boundaries. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of setting boundaries for mental health, and how to do so effectively.
What are boundaries?
Boundaries are personal rules that we set for ourselves and communicate to others. They help protect our mental health and maintain healthy relationships. Boundaries can be different for everyone. They may include things like saying "no" to too much work, asking for respect from others, or setting aside time for ourselves. Boundaries help us avoid feeling overwhelmed, prevent burnout, and maintain our self-respect.
How do I know if I need to set boundaries?
There are several signs to look out for that may suggest the need for setting boundaries. These include feeling disrespected, stressed, or overwhelmed around certain people. You may also feel like your needs are not getting met, or you're compromising your values or giving more than you receive. It's essential to recognize these indicators and listen to our emotions and body when they're trying to tell you something. When left unattended for too long, these feelings can turn into depression, anxiety, and even panic attacks.
How do I set boundaries?
When setting boundaries, it's important to keep in mind that we can only control our own actions and reactions, not those of others. Some boundaries are "self-boundaries" meaning only you need to know about it, and manage your behavior appropriately. Other boundaries require communication with another person. When setting boundaries, they usually need to be worded in a way that emphasizes what we will do, not what we expect others to do. This keeps control within us and helps maintain healthy relationships.
Instead of saying, “don’t bring up that subject around me” you could say “I am not going to participate in conversations around this topic”. Follow through by removing yourself from the conversation.
As you practice setting boundaries, be sure to communicate your expectations clearly and assertively. Be prepared for pushback or resistance from others. Remember that you have the right to set boundaries that protect your mental health and well-being.
Does setting boundaries harm relationships?
Setting boundaries is not selfish or unkind. It is taking responsibility for your own well-being and communicating your needs. While some people may perceive boundaries as barriers, boundaries are actually bridges that lead to more trust and respect in relationships. Boundaries help us communicate our needs and expectations, which can lead to better understanding and more productive interactions with others.
In conclusion, setting boundaries is crucial for good mental health and healthy relationships. We need to reflect regularly on our boundaries and assess whether they still serve us as we grow and change. If you feel like you need additional help with communication, relationships, or mental health, you may benefit from starting therapy. Relationships are complex; in addition to setting boundaries, it may be helpful to have a therapist help you navigate in a healthy way.
The author, Camilla Olsen, CMHC, is licensed to see clients in the State of Utah. If you are interested in starting therapy with her, please fill out the Request an Appointment form on her website.
You may also be interested to know, that she has published several books and workbooks. Click here to read more about them!
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About the Author
Cami is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, specializing in helping adult clients heal from past trauma. With experience in treating depression, anxiety, grief, and childhood trauma, Cami provides compassionate care using a variety of therapeutic approaches including EMDR, CBT, and Sand Tray Therapy.
Do you live in the State of Utah? If so, would you like to become a client?
Fill out the Request an Appointment form to get started.
Camilla Olsen, CMHC has published a variety of mental health workbooks, coloring books, and sketchbooks. Click here to explore the collection.