Setting boundaries is the art of protecting your emotional self and well-being. It is your responsibility and duty to identify relationships, emotions or others’ behaviors that have the potential to hurt you.
Imagine yourself at the center of a garden surrounded by a fence. The fence represents your personal boundaries, and the garden represents your personal space. You are this garden’s most valuable asset. Protecting yourself in your garden is a continuous process. It can be maintained in three steps:
Love and respect yourself
Value what you want to protect. Make yourself the first priority. Assess your wants and needs. Treat yourself with respect.
Write positive affirmation notes about yourself, something that you love about yourself. Read your notes every day for at least a week.
Assess and plan to protect emotional self
Identify in writing those triggers provoking negative emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety and stress. They can fester, and if left unaddressed, can harm your physical health.
Having identified negative triggers, you can decide how and in what order to tackle them. Imagine uprooting weeds and clearing your garden. For each trigger, plan ways to act on your assessment.
Example: Say NO to potentially harmful friendships or requests.