Mental Health Monday: Personal Boundaries

Hello, Mommies! Kaya here! I’d like to start with a few questions for you all today. How many times has someone asked you for a favor that you that you weren’t in the position to fulfill for whatever reason, but you agreed to help anyway? Or how many times has someone made you feel uncomfortable by violating your personal space but you ignored your internal response indicating discomfort, and simply ignored the feeling? Have you ever had your beliefs violated by someone but said nothing to advocate for yourself? The list goes on of these experiences that challenge our own best interest or belief systems. The question becomes then, what’s the harm in ignoring our inner protective voice? Simply stated the harm is that by ignoring our own needs for other’s benefit, there is an emotional toll that is experienced that can have a lasting impact and adversely impact how we relate to others moving forward. Specifically, by continually allowing toxic influences into our own lives, we lose the ability to keep them out. One way to protect ourselves in these situations is to establish and reinforce our “personal boundaries”, which is what I would like to address in this installment.

It takes personal growth and awareness to begin to establish our personal boundaries.  I would like to discuss some ways to establish personal boundaries. The first way to do this is by beginning to advocate for ourselves and pay attention to our own needs and emotional response to people and situations. We must say no when we don’t want to do something because it makes us nervous for example. Also, it is extremely important to keep people out of our lives if we do not trust or feel comfortable around them. By doing these things we are creating and reinforcing our personal boundaries. As children, we are sometimes forced into situations that make us uncomfortable and have no way to defend or protect ourselves. Sometimes as adults we do not learn to stop behaving like children when it comes to our personal boundaries by not accepting the toxic people and situations that we come in contact with. Personal boundaries can be defined as guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave toward them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

One such personal boundary that I work hard to maintain in my own life, is allowing people to converse with me in a respectful way without the use of aggressive or degrading language regardless of the context of the conversation. I created this personal boundary when I realized that when I have to communicate with individuals in an aggressive way, I become stressed. This personal boundary helps me to avoid such communication. I challenge you all to pay attention to things that you don’t like in your own lives. Think about how you can remove those things from your life and create or reinforce your own personal boundaries. I can promise you that when you start to be aware and establish personal boundaries in your own life, you will begin to live a healthier and more fufilled life. What personal boundaries do you have in your life? Are there any that you don’t have but are wanting or needing to create?

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