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The Key To Your Happiness – Setting Boundaries

Written by: Dan Davis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you struggle to set boundaries? Do you notice people walking all over you? Does it ever feel like people expect too much from you? In this article, you will learn what a boundary is, how to set boundaries, and how to maintain them.

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Personal boundaries have been defined by Therapist Aid as the limits and rules that we expect within a relationship, healthy boundary setting means that you can say no to others if you feel uncomfortable. Imagine that you have a castle defending your values, standards and expectations of the world but people around you are launching their own agendas over the wall without asking for your permission or even considering you. This is very common for people to do and it can take conscious effort to restore your walls and erect new ones as your interests, values and standards change. As you start to become more aware of your boundaries then you will start noticing the discomfort you feel when someone steps over one of them, it will feel uncomfortable and wrong. You might have been raised by your parents/caregivers to not “step on anyone’s toes” which might have caused your people pleasing tendencies to develop. It can feel uncomfortable to set boundaries and stand up for what you believe in, but if you continue to let people walk over you then you will continue to feel unworthy, unhappy, and unable to make decisions that benefit you.

A good starting point is identifying what a boundary is and what different types of boundaries are out there, as you read through this worksheet you might start to notice different moments in your life where someone has walked over your boundaries, you might even be able to identify an emotion that this experience elicited for you. Without shaming yourself, identify how you handled this situation (write it down on a piece of paper), underneath your reaction, write down how you would have liked to handle this situation (channeling your authentic self). Another important aspect of boundary setting is identifying your values, this can help you recognise where you stand in relation to the situation that is presenting itself. You need to remind yourself that setting boundaries is healthy in any relationship and if someone can not respect your boundaries, then that is a breach of your boundaries; you might need to reconsider who you spend your time with.

When it comes to setting boundaries, it is important to practice how you are going to communicate your boundaries to people. I would suggest using the setting boundaries resource to practice setting boundaries with someone that you feel comfortable around; reminding yourself that boundary setting is a crucial step towards your happiness. Can you think of someone that you have met that is great at setting boundaries, what do they do? How do people react to their boundary setting? Is there something about their approach that you can model or learn from?

It is now time for you to practice boundary setting, start by setting small, manageable boundaries that you can apply to everyone that you interact with, maybe you say yes to everything due to fear of rejection or judgement, try to say no when you don’t want to do something, journal about it, and reflect on what comes up for you. Then you can reflect on how it felt to have the power to say no, and how you were able to do something for yourself instead of trying to please others.

If you need support with setting, maintaining, or practicing boundary setting then reach out to Dan from Meta Minds Therapy for confidential, accessible and affordable online and after hours counselling.

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Dan Davis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dan Davis is deeply passionate about helping people master their mindset. He is the host of 2 leading mental health podcasts, Meta Minds and The Power of Showing Up. Dan is also the host of Australia's 1 ranked drone YouTube channel, DansTube.TV. Dan has worked within the mental health and counselling industries for 5+ years, and has been dedicated to empowering clients through his counselling practice, Meta Minds Therapy. Dan has made it his mission to empower people to live the life of their dreams!



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