Understanding Relationships Better: Can Setting Boundaries Reduce Stress

Last Update on October 13, 2021 : Published on October 13, 2021
can setting boundaries reduce stress

We all want to live a peaceful life without much stress in life. Something we dig our own graves. We do not pay much attention to our limitations and boundaries. That is exactly how we invite stress in our lives.

Setting boundaries can be used as a stress management technique. Before you can do that you need to first understand what boundaries you need to set. Where are you lacking in terms of boundaries, that you are experiencing so much stress?

Most of us struggle with the inability to say “NO”. I am sure at least once in your life you must regret not saying no to something. We all have done something that we didn’t want to do but just because we didn’t want to sound rude.

You need to set some boundaries and you need to set them now!

Signs You Need To Set Boundaries To Reduce Stress

Signs you need to set boundaries to reduce stress

Sometimes you fail to understand what makes you stressed. Most of the time it is the lack of knowledge about setting boundaries. Here are a few sign with show that you need to start working on your boundaries

  • You have begun to feel like you are being treated unfairly and people have started asking too much from you. This means you have unknowingly let people use you.
  • You agree to do things easily even though you’d never choose to do it.
  • You have started to feel bad for yourself because you are doing a lot more for others than you should be doing for yourself.
  • You are okay with people not being there for you but you are always there for others even when you resent it.
  • You can feel that you aren’t being appreciated for the things you have been doing for others but you still continue to do so.
  • You feel stressed about disappointing others so you put a lot of effort in pleasing people around you.
  • You end up draining all your energy complying to others and have nothing left for yourself.

Also read: How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Yourself 

Importance of Setting Boundaries

I for a long time didn’t know that setting boundaries can make a lot of difference in our lives. Most of our stress is because we don’t set appropriate boundaries especially when we are in a relationship.

Workplace relationships, personal relationships and social relationships all can be balanced stress free if you set proper boundaries. Therefore setting is important because:

  • Helps in building self-esteem
  • Helps you build self awareness! You get a clarity of what your limitations are, what you like to do, etc.
  • Improves well being by diverting your focus to yourself.
  • Helps you become independent
  • It’s great to avoid burnout
  • Strengthens the sense of self-identity
  • Helps in improving overall mental and emotional well being

Something as small as setting boundaries can make such a huge difference. It is very, very important for all those who have a lot of stress in life just because they cannot refuse. It’s about time we begin to speak for ourselves.

Saying “NO” doesn’t make you a rude or selfish person, period!

Types of stress you need to set boundaries for…

1. Physical stress

Physical stress is the kind of stress you put yourself under while physically working hard. Stay up late just to finish your work. Not taking proper meals or rest just because you have too much on your plate.

Set some boundaries for yourself here

  • Make a practical and achievable to-do list
  • Set some working hour limits and stop working as soon as you cross the limit.
  • Give your meals and rest the same respect you give to your work

2. Emotional stress

Emotion stress is because of things that are emotionally draining. There might be times you have a lot in your heart and have no place to vent it out.

  • Let your friends know that along with you being there for them, you will need them to be there for you too.
  • Express yourself freely so that you can let your friends know where you have drawn the line.
  • Avoid doom scrolling
  • Set a boundary for yourself regarding the time you spend on social media
  • You should not always be going out of your way to help someone knowing they won’t help you back.

3. Burnout

Burnout is when your stress reaches a level where your mental and physical health begins to deteriorate.

  • Let people know whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed.
  • Do things that make you happy and make you feel like your life belongs to you and not someone else.
  • Take enough breaks for yourself (small and big)
  • Relationships should be give and take and it should remain reciprocal

These are a few tips you can utilise to set some boundaries for yourself so that you can reduce the stress you invite into your life.

Examples of Using Setting Boundaries As A Stress Management Skill

If you are in a relationship where you are being emotionally burdened and are experiencing a lot of stress try doing the below mentioned thing:

  • Say NO! A plain direct NO.
  • Don’t take blames when it’s not your fault
  • Demand the respect you deserve
  • Express your feeling openly
  • Find your identity outside your relationship
  • Be open to getting help
  • Ask for space


Setting boundaries can benefit you in more ways than one. One of the most important is setting boundaries can help you manage and reduce a huge amount of stress you might experience. Therefore, we can use our boundaries as a stress management skill.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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