How to create healthy boundaries in your life


Getty Images

Learn how to create boundaries and say no to things you don’t want to do.

Enforcing healthy boundaries can be essential to sustaining a more peaceful lifestyle in relationships, school, work and self. Boundaries can be used to protect or put a halt to something that makes you uncomfortable. When placing these barriers, it warns unwanted attention from approaching. 

Zoe Clark, a junior biology major, said that she struggles with creating boundaries in her life due to how she was raised, but would like to learn how. 

“Growing up with childhood trauma caused me to struggle with building healthy boundaries as an adult,” Clark said. For those who relate to Clark or had a similar experience, here are some healthy boundaries to follow. 

Healthy boundaries involve knowing how to say “no,” or knowing that you have every right to express your feelings. Always know your self-worth and make sure to prevent others from defining who you are. You should respect others’ values, beliefs and opinions, while sticking true to your own.

A simple exercise to add in your daily routines can be to ask yourself reflection questions such as, will this situation bring me joy and happiness? If not then say “no,” to the person or situation. Also, stop and think: “do I have other obligations this week or today?” If so, decide if the time you have to yourself should be used for resting. 

Unhealthy boundaries involve invading others’ personal space, not respecting others values and beliefs, saying “yes” when you don’t want to and being forced to do something that you’re not comfortable with doing.

“It was hard for me to create boundaries growing up due to my family seeing it as disrespectful not to attend family activities,” Clark said. ”If I said no it was seen as disrespectful.”

Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Take your time to build healthy practices such as meditation or mindfulness. Then make sure to surround yourself with people who will not cross those barriers. Don’t be hard on yourself, define your non-negotiables in life, establish routines and check in with yourself daily.