top of page
Search

How setting Boundaries helps with anxiety

PEACE with Anxiety Podcast Episode 7

Ep 7: How setting Boundaries help with anxiety

In this episode, I share with you how setting boundaries helps with your anxiety. Maybe you've felt overwhelmed by constant demands from others, leaving you feeling drained and anxious. Or perhaps you've struggled to prioritize your own needs and find yourself constantly sacrificing your well-being for the sake of others. Maybe, you might have experienced difficulty saying no to additional commitments, leading to feelings of stress and burnout. This episode will help you explore the transformative power of setting boundaries and how it can lead to greater peace and well-being in your life.

 

Listen as I talk about:

  • The importance of setting boundaries as a means of managing anxiety.

  • What boundaries are

  • Why boundaries are crucial for your mental health

  • Practical tips for establishing and maintaining them in your life.

  • Boundary-setting exercise that you can start implementing today


Click play to listen below:



Why setting boundaries is important as a means of managing anxiety


When boundaries are not established or respected, you may find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed, drained, or even violated in your interactions with others. You may feel overstimulated from external stressors, demands, or expectations which then causes you more anxiety, leading to heightened levels of stress, fatigue, and emotional dysregulation. So when you set clear boundaries, you can create a safety zone that protects you from constant external stressors and allows you to regulate your exposure to them more effectively.

Boundaries also serve as a protective mechanism against harmful or triggering influences that may contribute to anxiety. Whether it's toxic relationships, intrusive thoughts, or overwhelming environments, establishing and enforcing boundaries helps you maintain a sense of safety and autonomy in your interactions and surroundings. By establishing what is acceptable and unacceptable in your life, you can proactively alleviate the impact of potential anxiety-provoking situations.

Setting boundaries empowers you to advocate for your own well-being and assert your needs and preferences which then creates an empowering sense of agency and control over your anxiety, instead of feeling helpless or overwhelmed by your symptoms. You cultivate a greater sense of resilience, which can increase your ability to cope with anxiety more effectively.

Boundaries are key to self-care practices, as they encourage you to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. When you establish boundaries around time, energy, and resources, you have sufficient resources for self-care activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction. This proactive approach can prevent future episodes of distress.

Finally, Healthy boundaries are fundamental to creating positive and supportive relationships with others. Only when you clearly communicate your needs, limits, and expectations, you can have relationships that are based on mutual respect, empathy, and understanding. otherwise, when you constantly put other people’s needs above your own you start to resent the other person due to unmet needs or constant overstepping of boundaries.


What are boundaries

Boundaries are essentially guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for others to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

Here are some examples of various boundaries:

  • Time Boundaries: Setting aside specific times for work, leisure, and rest, and not allowing others to intrude upon those times without permission.

  • Emotional Boundaries: Recognizing and communicating your emotional needs and limits, such as expressing when certain topics are off-limits for discussion or when space is needed to process feelings.

  • Physical Boundaries: Respecting personal space and physical touch preferences, whether it's in social interactions or intimate relationships.

  • Material Boundaries: Establishing limits on lending or borrowing possessions, money, or resources to maintain fairness and prevent exploitation.

  • Digital Boundaries: Managing accessibility and availability online, such as setting boundaries around responding to emails or messages after work hours.


Practical tips for establishing and maintaining them in your life.


  1. Begin by taking time to reflect on your own needs, triggers, and limits. Consider areas of your life where you may feel overwhelmed or drained and identify specific boundaries that could help alleviate these feelings.

  2. Once you've identified your boundaries, communicate them assertively but respectfully to those around you. Use "I" statements to express your needs and preferences, and provide specific examples to illustrate your boundaries. For example, instead of saying, 'You always make me feel overwhelmed,' you could say, 'I feel overwhelmed when I have too many tasks assigned to me.' This shifts the focus to your feelings and experiences without placing blame on the other person.

  3. Consistency is key to maintaining boundaries effectively. Once you've established your boundaries, stick to them even when it's challenging or uncomfortable. Avoid making exceptions or allowing boundary violations, as sends a clear message that your well-being is non-negotiable

  4. Prioritize self-care activities that help you recharge and reinforce your boundaries. Whether it's engaging in hobbies, spending time in nature, or practising relaxation techniques, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. When you prioritize your well-being and invest in activities that nourish your mind and body, you strengthen your resilience and ability to maintain healthy boundaries in the face of stressors.

  5. Seek support. Whether it is from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals surround yourself with individuals who respect and validate your boundaries, and seek guidance from those who have experience in boundary-setting and self-care practices.

  6. While consistency is important, it's also essential to be flexible and adaptable when life changes or personal needs change. Be open to reevaluating and adjusting your boundaries as necessary, and don't be afraid to communicate changes to those affected by them. Flexibility allows you to maintain a healthy balance between assertiveness and empathy, ensuring that your boundaries evolve along with your needs and priorities.

Boundary-setting exercise that you can start implementing today


Take some time to identify one area in your life where you feel your boundaries are being violated or where you need to establish clearer limits for your mental well-being (It could be in your relationships, work, or even with yourself in terms of self-care routines).

Once you've identified this area, I want you to think of specific boundaries you can set to better protect your peace of mind.

Next, choose just one boundary you've identified and it is easy to commit to starting implementing today (i.e. saying no to additional commitments, setting aside designated 'me time' each day, or establishing communication boundaries with certain individuals).

Throughout the week, observe how honouring this boundary affects your stress levels, anxiety, and overall well-being. Notice any resistance that comes up but be compassionate to yourself as you navigate this new process.

Finally, If you want to just make notes every day and at the end of the week take some time to read them and reflect on your experience. What worked well? What challenges did you encounter? And how can you further refine or reinforce this boundary moving forward?


Need more anxiety support with setting boundaries?


Apply for a 30-minute FREE Anxiety Relief Call to explore working with me as a private client https://www.ireneevangeloutherapy.com/free-anxiety-relief-call


Join our Facebook group!


Join the FREE 21-Day Relieving Anxiety Meditation Challenge  here 


DOORS ARE NOW OPEN TO THE 12-week RTT Program

If you are DONE with anxiety and self-doubt holding you back from living life to the fullest. if you're ready to rapidly shift out of the thoughts and feelings that keep you stuck. If you're ready to create unstoppable self-belief and unshakeable inner confidence. APPLY  TODAY! Special bonuses are limited to the first 5 members  https://forms.gle/RXaNaZq21G32QBdt6


Love this post? Save it for later:




 

Full Transcript


Hello and Welcome back to episode 7 of the Peace with Anxiety podcast. So today I am talking about setting boundaries for anxiety. But before we begin, I want to take a moment to hear from you. Because setting boundaries is essential for a happy, healthy, meaningful and anxiety-free life, I would love to hear about your experiences and insights. So, I want you to think about a recent situation where you felt your boundaries were being challenged. It could be in your relationships, at work, or even within yourself. And once you do this I want you to reflect on how you responded to that situation, and what you learned from it. And keep that scenario in your mind as we are discussing today's episode as it will help you understand why you felt the way you did, why you responded the way you did and what to do if something like this happens again. Specifically, we'll be talking about the importance of setting boundaries as a means of managing anxiety. We'll explore what boundaries are, and why they're crucial for our mental health, and I am going to offer you practical tips for establishing and maintaining them in our lives. At the end of the episode, I am also going to recommend an exercise for boundaries that you don’t want to miss. So stay tuned until the end.


If you feel overworked and burned out if you feel like you never have time for yourself. If you feel like you always do more for others than they do for you, if you take on other people’s struggles, if You often feel guilty saying no and if You feel angry too often with your loved ones then there is a chance you need to set better boundaries.


Let's begin by briefly explaining what boundaries are:

Boundaries are essentially guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for others to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. Some examples of boundaries include Time Boundaries: Setting aside specific times for work, leisure, and rest, and not allowing others to intrude upon those times without permission. Emotional Boundaries: Recognizing and communicating your emotional needs and limits, such as expressing when certain topics are off-limits for discussion or when space is needed to process feelings. Physical Boundaries: Respecting personal space and physical touch preferences, whether it's in social interactions or intimate relationships. Material Boundaries: Establishing limits on lending or borrowing possessions, money, or resources to maintain fairness and prevent exploitation. Digital Boundaries: Managing accessibility and availability online, such as setting boundaries around responding to emails or messages after work hours.


The truth is that your needs are as important as everyone else’s. When you know that your needs matter, that you are important, and that you are lovable, once you know, you are able to give and receive love and time with ease. But there needs to be a balance between giving and receiving, similar to breathing. If you feel comfortable try doing this exercise with me. So breathe out, which is giving, and now breathe in which is receiving. And it goes back and forth, breath in you receive, breath out you are giving. But now try breathing out all the way out, keep giving, and giving and giving. How does that feel? Isn't it draining? Is it exhausting? So this balance needs to be equal in order to be able to maintain healthy relationships with others but also with yourself.

Now this imbalance often comes from this fear of not being lovable, not feeling enough, that the people in your life will somehow abandon you if you say no, if you are not there always for them. And that fear is causing your anxiety and it’s making you so hyper-focused on other people’s emotions, be the fixer or the rescuer in your relationships, when you become aware that your boundaries are being violated, to find excuses for that person’s behaviours, and you continue placing other’s needs above your own.

And also sometimes many of us have been brought up to be nice to everyone. making them happy, and doing the right thing and the good thing as often as possible. So it’s no wonder that many find it difficult to set appropriate boundaries as they get older. They don’t want to offend or hurt others, even when that avoidance ultimately means hurting themselves.

Now being nice is wonderful but not at the expense of your own well-being.

Seemingly harmless phrases such as, "I don’t care if you don’t want to hug your grandfather, it’s rude not to," can instil guilt in a child who will then be conditioned to always put other people's needs first and to be people-pleasers.


When boundaries are not established or respected, you may find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed, drained, or even violated in your interactions with others. You may feel overstimulated from external stressors, demands, or expectations which then causes you more anxiety, leading to heightened levels of stress, fatigue, and emotional dysregulation. So when you set clear boundaries, you can create a safety zone that protects you from constant external stressors and allows you to regulate your exposure to them more effectively.

Boundaries also serve as a protective mechanism against harmful or triggering influences that may contribute to anxiety. Whether it's toxic relationships, intrusive thoughts, or overwhelming environments, establishing and enforcing boundaries helps you maintain a sense of safety and autonomy in your interactions and surroundings. By establishing what is acceptable and unacceptable in your life, you can proactively alleviate the impact of potential anxiety-provoking situations.

Setting boundaries empowers you to advocate for your own well-being and assert your needs and preferences which then creates an empowering sense of agency and control over your anxiety, instead of feeling helpless or overwhelmed by your symptoms. You cultivate a greater sense of resilience, which can increase your ability to cope with anxiety more effectively.

Boundaries are key to self-care practices, as they encourage you to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. When you establish boundaries around time, energy, and resources, you have sufficient resources for self-care activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction. This proactive approach can prevent future episodes of distress.

Finally, Healthy boundaries are fundamental to creating positive and supportive relationships with others. Only when you clearly communicate your needs, limits, and expectations, you can have relationships that are based on mutual respect, empathy, and understanding. otherwise, when you constantly put other people’s needs above your own you start to resent the other person due to unmet needs or constant overstepping of boundaries.


So now I want to give you some Practical Tips for Establishing Boundaries,

First Begin by taking time to reflect on your own needs, triggers, and limits. Consider areas of your life where you may feel overwhelmed or drained and identify specific boundaries that could help alleviate these feelings.

Second Once you've identified your boundaries, communicate them assertively but respectfully to those around you. Use "I" statements to express your needs and preferences, and provide specific examples to illustrate your boundaries. For example, instead of saying, 'You always make me feel overwhelmed,' you could say, 'I feel overwhelmed when I have too many tasks assigned to me.' This shifts the focus to your feelings and experiences without placing blame on the other person.

Third Consistency is key to maintaining boundaries effectively. Once you've established your boundaries, stick to them even when it's challenging or uncomfortable. Avoid making exceptions or allowing boundary violations, as sends a clear message that your well-being is non-negotiable

Tip number four is to Prioritize self-care activities that help you recharge and reinforce your boundaries. Whether it's engaging in hobbies, spending time in nature, or practising relaxation techniques, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. When you prioritize your well-being and invest in activities that nourish your mind and body, you strengthen your resilience and ability to maintain healthy boundaries in the face of stressors.

Number 5 is to seek support. Whether it is from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals Surround yourself with individuals who respect and validate your boundaries, and seek guidance from those who have experience in boundary-setting and self-care practices.

Finally, While consistency is important, it's also essential to be flexible and adaptable when life changes or personal needs change. Be open to reevaluating and adjusting your boundaries as necessary, and don't be afraid to communicate changes to those affected by them. Flexibility allows you to maintain a healthy balance between assertiveness and empathy, ensuring that your boundaries evolve along with your needs and priorities.

Setting boundaries is a skill that requires practice and patience, that can help you create healthier relationships, reduce stress, and reclaim control over your life.

So, Please Remember, setting boundaries is not selfish; it's an act of self-care and self-love.


For this week i have an exercise for you to try if you want so you can really take in what we talked about today and start seeing changes in your life. So I would encourage you to take some time to identify one area in your life where you feel your boundaries are being violated or where you need to establish clearer limits for your mental well-being. It could be in your relationships, work, or even with yourself in terms of self-care routines. Once you've identified this area, i want you to think of specific boundaries you can set to better protect your peace of mind.

Next, choose just one boundary you've identified and it is easy to commit to start implementing today. Whether it's saying no to additional commitments, setting aside designated 'me time' each day, or establishing communication boundaries with certain individuals, take action to honour your boundaries. Throughout the week, observe how honouring this boundary affects your stress levels, anxiety, and overall well-being. Notice any resistance that comes up but be compassionate to yourself as you navigate this new process. Finally, If you want to just make notes every day and at the end of the week take some time to read them and reflect on your experience. What worked well? What challenges did you encounter? And how can you further refine or reinforce this boundary moving forward?


As always if you need support in your peace with anxiety journey, feel free to book a free 30-minute call with me where i can offer you personalised guidance and resources to help you break free from anxiety. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself.

Commentaires


bottom of page