My work as a coach has revealed one important truth – if you’re a busy women, you probably have trouble setting boundaries to feel calmer and better about yourself.
“I respect my boundaries and I insist that others respect them too”
Do you have trouble setting boundaries to feel calmer, and better about yourself?
Here are some clues:
- Do you say yes when you really mean no?
- Do you put others’ needs and agenda in front of yours?
- Do you often feel resentful and find your comfort in the kitchen?
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone!
Here’s a typical scenario
Jane has poor boundaries and will often say yes because she is afraid of disappointing others.
“Yes, of course I can come to dinner tonight” she says to her girlfriend.
In her mind a different story is taking place and she says to herself, ”What was I thinking when I agreed to that? I have so much work that’s due now!”
So what actually happened?
Because of her fear of disappointing her girlfriend, Jane put her friend’s needs before her own.
What follows is anger and resentment, which triggers her default response – she turns to food for comfort.
More then likely, somewhere along the line, she learned that her feelings and needs didn’t matter.
How being the “Yes” person can impact on your eating
If you are saying yes to everything and everyone, you may believe that you are achieving more or doing good, but the outcome is usually resentment.
Your resentment may come from the feeling of being taken advantage of and feeling that you are missing out.
If you are at the bottom of your priority list, it has a direct impact on your eating.
If you are not fulfilling your needs and “feeding” your soul – you will end up feeding your cravings.
When your needs are being met, you don’t need to feed your emotions!
You may need to examine your boundaries
Are your boundaries healthy?
The easiest way to find out is to ask yourself:
- Are you spending your time out of alignment with your desires?
- Are you pleasing other people at the expense of your own care?
- Are you doing things that you feel you should do, but not things that you want to do?
- Is your diary an open book to every one?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and resentful because you can never find time for you?
If you answered yes to at least two of these questions, you may not have healthy boundaries in place.
What are healthy boundaries and why do we need them?
Healthy boundaries comes from your own sense of self-worth and your values.
They are essential for your health and self-care.
Setting healthy boundaries is all about identifying your feelings, expressing your self as a unique individual and honouring your feelings.
Think of your boundaries as protective “emotional borders“ you build between others and yourself.
Simply put, they are the limits you set with other people, which indicate what you find acceptable and unacceptable in their behaviour towards you.
It’s your way of communicating to others that you:
- know and understand what your limits are
- respect and value your time
- can make good decisions for yourself
- honour your needs and desires
- are in control of your time, and
- do not allow others to define your schedule.
Setting healthy boundaries can be challenging at first, especially if you are accustomed to saying yes all the time. It is however, a skill that can be learned with practise.
Practice makes perfect.
4 ways to start setting boundaries to feel calmer, and better about yourself, and more satisfied with life.
1. Start by identifying & honouring your needs
The best way to set better your healthy boundaries is by practicing how to tell someone that they’ve crossed yours.
This is called honouring your needs. When you do this, you will:
- strengthen your self-worth
- have more energy
- have a positive out on life
- have piece of mind
- give love to yourself, and
- feel a sense of lightness.
2. Create boundaries around yourself
Start to create boundaries around yourself.
Work out what you are comfortable with and what you are not comfortable with.
When you have clarity on what is important to you then you can communicate it to others.
- Who are you?
- What do you value?
Here is an example:
When I am writing I don’t like to be interrupted my thoughts by taking calls so I put my phone on silent mode.
I created this boundary to decrease my stress level and help me have laser sharp focus when I am writing.
3. Identify your limits
It really helps to know your limits
1. Start by identifying your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits.
- What can you tolerate and accept?
- What makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed?
2. Reflect on past experiences where you felt resentment, or frustration with some one and identify typical situations were you may get caught out.
- Which limits were reached?
- What was the tipping point?
4. Let go of guilt
If you are used to putting your needs before others you may experience some guilt when you start to set healthy boundaries.
That’s perfectly normal.
If you sit with the feeling of guilt and remind yourself that you are “feeding” your needs, your guilt will dissipate, and therefore so will your urge to overeat or use other coping mechanisms.
The benefits of healthy boundaries
When you set healthy boundaries, you create time for yourself – for YOU.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Identify your own needs first before you think of others
- Book in time for you in your diary and make it non-negotiable
- Always check your diary before committing
- Don’t double-book
- If a friend wants you to see you during your self-care time, tell them that you are busy.
Practise saying “No”
Rehearse saying no – it may feel uncomfortable at first but with practise you will get used to it
Here are some friendly but firm suggestions:
- I’d love to but I cant…
- Thank you for asking, but NO…
- That doesn’t work for me at that time…
- I don’t want to disappoint you , but I have to say NO.
When you start feeding your needs and giving to you, you will feel calmer and better about yourself.
You will no longer need to rely on food to feed your needs because they are being met.
Now over to you…
How can you create healthy boundaries to help you release emotional eating and guilt?
Your lifestyle, requirements and goals are unique, there’s no standard approach that works for everyone.
I also know that when you absolutely nail it – when you are crystal clear on your approach – the method and strategy that works for you – and the habits, rituals and systems you need to support your success – SO MUCH changes.
If you would like help with building healthy boundaries so you can honour your needs and be in control of your eating ,than contact me for a chat a 15-minute discussion.
Its free. And it might change your life.
Emotional Eating Coach
BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Health and Wellness Coach (L3)
I coach women who want to put down their fork and pick up their life. If you want to end your struggles with excess weight, stress and self-belief, using your strengths and capabilities, book a free 15-minute mini-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to transform your life.
Want some help getting your emotional eating under control?
Book a confidential enquiry with Irena.
Book a confidential enquiry