3 Ways to Set and Keep Healthy Boundaries

Balance often becomes a state of being to covet when life feels completely chaotic or you start to notice that you are depleted to a level that concerns you and your loved ones. It isn’t something we are taught to implement in our lives in a consistent and steady way. Instead we look to it as a savior when all else fails.

What if 2019 could become the year that you didn’t have to hit rock bottom in order to create a life that feels balanced? I know that if you’re reading this in the middle of a major challenge in your life, that might seem completely impossible, but I assure you that it’s not.

The healthiest way to create more balance in your life is to learn how to implement strong boundaries that are non-negotiable for you. We often set boundaries only when someone actively takes advantage of us or we find ourselves in a situation that leaves us feeling manipulated. While boundaries are a great tool during challenging times, they are just as important to utilize on a day-to-day basis, and setting them is the first step to fostering real balance in your life.

Sound hard to do? Let me show you three ways that setting boundaries creates more balance:

1. Saying no allows for more yes!

While it could be very easy to focus on all of the things you are omitting from your life by saying “no,” I invite you to focus on everything for which you would be making space. Think of all of the times when you said you would help that friend who always seems to need you, or you agree to show up for your ex one last time, helping, caring, supporting someone else again and again with no real end in sight.

Or all the times when you take on extra tasks at work, or promise to do chores around the house just because you can and it seems easier to just do the work yourself. Maybe you’re afraid of how someone will feel if they hear the word “no” or you just don’t have the energy to dig deep into the well of strength within you to say “no.”

Now think of all of the things that you could be doing during these times
if you had decided to put yourself first! The yoga class you could finally take, or the meal you would be able to cook from scratch and enjoy in peace. You might be able to take a walk with that dear friend for whom you never seem to have enough time. You could finally enroll in the Spanish lessons you’ve put off.

Once you start eliminating things that don’t fill you up and incorporating activities that do, your life will naturally feel more balanced.

2. Listen to your internal compass.

Something I hear a lot is that people don’t even know what really makes them happy. They are caught in the hamster wheel of life and going through the motions. While making space in your life will allow you to choose joy more, it will also allow you to open yourself to your internal compass in a way that you never knew would be possible. Instead of being reactionary in life, you’ll be able to use your heart and mind to take control. That alone creates a feeling of balance and is completely life-changing.

3. Let go of your inner critic.

Often when we are going after the seemingly unattainable goal of balance, we tend to be incredibly harsh on ourselves when
we miss the mark. Life is
full of setbacks; when you experience one, don’t beat yourself up, as that will
just add more stress and disappointment to your
day. Instead, reflect on the setback and recalibrate, ridding yourself of criticism, shame, and additional stress. If the only thing you do in this quest for balance is to be gentler and kinder to yourself, you will almost immediately experience more overall peace in your life.

I know that when people talk about balance they often tackle the to-do lists and tangible moments throughout their day, but I have seen that the process of finding true balance in life is actually much deeper than that. It starts with a process of self-reflection and compassion. Implementing boundaries is a powerful way to make that happen. Incorporate these aforementioned steps into your life and see how the heaviness and resistance start to disappear. It’s a powerful reframe for your life that will leave you feeling balanced in no time!

Copy by Nitika Chopra/Photography by Constance Mariena

Nitika Chopra is a beauty and lifestyle expert who inspires readers to discover and celebrate their own inner beauty. Read more about Nitika at nitikachopra.com.

This story originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Inspired Home Journal, titled “Balancing Act.”