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How to help your stress levels with boundaries

Have you noticed what is going on around you at present? We are finding what is happening around us very stressful, not just what is happening with the pandemic but, most of all, what is happening with each other - at home, outside with friends and with your colleagues at work.

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body and your thoughts.

All my life I have heard this comment - “I am so stressed” - and I used to think, why is everyone so stressed? What is happening to our brains and our thoughts that we feel so stressed?

What happens to us over a long period of time is it can cause damage to blood vessels and arteries. This increases the risk of hypertension, heart attack or stroke. The endocrine system also suffers.

So, I thought why do people get so stressed so quickly? If you can use boundaries around you, this would alleviate your stress.

Here are some questions I ask my clients:

  • What, where and when do you feel stressed?
  • How do you feel when you are stressed?
  • What boundaries do you use when you don’t like something?

These questions can help you to look at the reason you are feeling so stressed and find the right boundaries to stop all of this from happening.

During my job as a counsellor, I have worked with numerous clients with different difficulties. Stress can disable you if you don’t do something straight away. So, what we can do is to look at what is stressing us all the time and what things we can change?

The way I reflect is to picture a train going 100 miles per hour or faster. So now stop and think about how to deal with people around you and what matters to you. Slow down your journey and find a quiet place to deal with things that are continually hurting you and stressing you.

What you have to do is take your time. Then think about boundaries I have put in place all my life to stop everyone and yourself so as to feel better about yourself and feel less stressed. I understand that there is an amount of stress that we all have to go through but it needs to be a certain amount that is at a healthy level and can be repaired during these difficult times.

This is when we put all these boundaries in place. They are imperative in our lives, with friends, family, colleagues and our partners. Yes, boundaries - taking responsibility for yourself and loving yourself. Tell everyone what is acceptable or not acceptable in your relationships but, most of all, for yourself.

Boundaries in any type of relationship are a “two-way street” and you need to consider and respect the boundaries of the other person too if you want the relationship to work. What do you want in your relationship? It is not easy if you never had boundaries but it would be far healthier than having none. 

With boundaries in place then you might start feeling less stressed. Be gentle if you have never used this before but I promise you it will help you in your future with old and new relationships.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Sole Jewell BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, CBT and Life Coach.

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