The Happy Wellness Room
Boundaries are rules and guidelines that you establish as the basis for a preferred lifestyle (Seaward, 2021, p. 144). Boundaries govern everything about how you interact with other people; more specifically, how you allow them to affect your life. Another description of boundaries from the same author explains, “structures of the mind, based on a set of values, that provide a sense of security and guidance in which to live a balanced life” (p. 144). Values are real but intangible. They help determine our priorities and how we respond to what’s happening around us. Some example of values include love, peace, privacy, education, freedom, happiness, creativity, fame, integrity, faith, friendship, morals, health, justice, loyalty, honesty, and independence. As we age, we adopt values from those around us and alter or change our values based on our experiences. Values have added benefits, such as feelings of security and a sense of empowerment (p. 147).
In some situations, people act in ways that conflict with their values, which results in stress. Feeling or being forced into doing something that does not line up with our values creates imbalance in social, spiritual, mental, and emotional areas of our lives. Additionally, “there is a very strong correlation between poor boundaries and high stress levels” (Seaward, p. 151). This means if we cannot regulate what we’re exposed to, we put ourselves at increased risk of disease and illness. Healthy boundaries are tools we use to enhance our lives, but they can become unhealthy when there is no flexibility, so that the boundaries become a prison (p. 145). We must be flexible depending on the circumstances. As with everything, balance is the key.