The powerful effect on your health and wellbeing of being REALLY clear on your boundaries.
“I really feel I should take more time off work and my personal ‘me’ time to ………..(insert whatever applies to you, usually it is doing something for someone else)…..” says ‘Mary’. “… but I don’t really want to, I feel pressured into doing this…it’s going to cost me money and time. I don’t know where I will drag the energy from to do it, as I am already really tired a lot of the time.”
“Let’s take a few moments before we start to delve into some effective natural therapies to support your journey. Take your brain out of the equation, breath into your abdomen and connect with how your body feels at the moment. How is this situation working for you? How do you feel in your body when you think about this situation? Is there any place in your body which feels other than comfortable when you think about the situation? What emotions surfaces, how does your energy and mood feel?” I suggest this simple technique which I have found many people find useful.
“I feel really tight and churned up in my tummy…..it’s feeling quite heavy and I feel quite anxious and worried when I just let myself feel it….”
This then can become the start of learning to work with our bodies, minds and emotions as one. Saying No to a situation that you are not feeling good about can then leave the door open to saying Yes to your greater health and wellbeing. This does not mean that you cease being of assistance to others and appropriate causes – more that you learn to check in with your body/mind/emotional response to ensure it is okay at all levels. Yes, we all sometimes need to do things we don’t want to, that’s life. It is when this becomes overwhelming that it’s such a challenge.
This and many other everyday scenarios are very common, when I am consulting with people for their health and wellbeing as well as for personal and professional development. The effects on our health, wellbeing and enjoyment of life when we say ‘Yes’ and really mean ‘No’ can be mild to catastrophic depending on the longevity and the ways we co-exist with the situation.
One thing these situations can help us be aware of is our boundaries – where does the ‘I’ start, the ‘I’ stop. What is important to us at an everyday as well as values level.
One of the things which is really clear to me after many years at the coalface of working with individuals and groups to optimize health, wellbeing and enjoyment in life – if we do not know what is best for our highest good, we often end up saying YES to people and circumstances when we really wish to say NO.
What happens to our health and wellbeing and enjoyment in life when we say Yes when we really would rather say No?
This can lead to many physical as well as emotional and mental challenges and is a common reason why people seek my and other health practitioners’ assistance for physical ailments. Some of these can be:
- Our muscles tense, even though we may not be aware of it and if it is a long term situation this can lead to tension in the whole body and conditions such as headaches, migraines, fatigue, aches and pains.
- Our moods can really plummet and we may not know why. In the extreme depression can set in, often we think it is ‘for no good reason’.
- Our immune system can be compromised. There is much evidence in the field of psychoneuroimmunology of the effects of stress on our immune system and general health.
Certainly in the field of women’s natural health I have witnessed the destructive effects on hormonal balance, energy and mood, menstrual and menopause experiences and fertility (men and women) hundreds if not thousands of times over.
Workplace performance and enjoyment can also be greatly affected no matter whether the situation is workplace origin or not, as statistics can reflect ‘…Stress related incidents in workplace communities are accounting for 40% of total of all Medicare claims costs and costing the Australian economy around $14.81 billion a year (Comcare data – 12 Months to 30 June 2013).
What can you do to assist yourself to determine if a situation is beneficial for your health and wellbeing or not? Some simple tips can be, and are not limited to:
- Understand that in life we will always be asked to ‘give’ and we can benefit greatly from an understand what constitutes ‘healthy giving’ which is positive for you and the recipient, and ‘toxic giving’ which is giving that results in discomfort at some level, especially over the long term.
- In each situation you might like to check in with your body, as the woman in the example does – take a few minutes in a quiet place and allow yourself to feel in your body the effects of the situation. This is one of the many simple yet powerful tips I demonstrate to individuals and groups which can be so empowering for us all.
- If you can identify that you tend to ‘give too much’ of yourself away you may find it beneficial to have some counselling and develop strategies which work for you in determining where your boundaries lie and how to determine when to be flexible and when to have ‘buns of steel’ with your boundaries.
- Natural therapies can be very useful, such as herbs, diet and nutrients to assist you to build energy and mood while you are addressing the deeper issues. Many times over I hear comments such as ‘ I feel much stronger now after these herbs/treatment, that those things are not bothering me.’
Delay making major decisions until you feel better in your mind, body and soul.
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