A high level of anxiety means your boundaries need to be checked. You may have too many stressors. Your mind-body-spirit may be overwhelmed. You also may not be responding to the anxiety in a way that addresses the life issue.
Are you anxious about a relationship, or job, or someone in your family with a drug/alcohol problem?
Do you worry about money or health issues? Do you feel a sense of dread about something?
Do you find yourself ignoring or postponing a decision, leaving you with anxiety or worry? Do you find yourself going silent and holding back because you are afraid to speak up or there doesn’t seem to be a point in speaking up?
Your anxiety is a signal, a warning that you may need to raise your boundary or address a situation in your life in a different way.
If you aren't using your boundaries when you get a signal, your anxiety symptoms may get worse.
Anxiety is not the only signal we get to raise our boundaries. Sleeplessness, depression, and other symptoms are also signals that we may need to manage our boundaries.
Boundaries involve more than your relationships to other people; boundaries are about how you relate to yourself.
Your boundaries are your life preserver. They help you take care of yourself at all times. We receive signals and often symptoms prompting us to use our boundaries. If you ignore the signals, they will get louder and the symptoms will become difficult to ignore.
We get very busy treating anxiety and other symptoms. We think that if we quiet the anxiety with medication, or yoga, the anxiety is gone. But the quieting is temporary, and you will find more symptoms coming up until you address the deeper issues that are stirring up the anxiety. Anxiety is often trying to help you. Learning how to listen and build a life preserver will help you recover from the troubling symptoms of anxiety.
Part of recovery and healing will be to dig down and understand how to strengthen your boundaries and use your life preserver tools.
Sometimes people think, "If I haven't been using my boundaries, it's because I don't have any boundaries." This is not true!
Even if you haven't been using your boundaries, they are there, and you are getting signals to use them all the time.
Learn to recognize your boundary signals and use boundary tools that are effective and guaranteed to help you feel better.
A few times a year, I offer a three-hour workshop to learn how to recognize the signals and strengthen your own boundaries. The next workshop is on Whidbey Island from 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21st. At the workshop, you will gain many tools to help you recover from stress and anxiety. Registration information is here.
Posted by Sarri Gilman
I learned the healing power of boundaries first with myself, then by teaching it to many others. I am the author of Transform Your Boundaries and Naming and Taming Overwhelm. My next book is on Trauma and Recovery. I am a psychotherapist with more than 3 decades of experience. But my experience has not been limited to a small room with a couch. I also ran 3 non-profit organizations for 20 years, founding 2 of those orgs and taught leadership 7 years. Making boundaries easier has become my life purpose. I believe many of our conflicts, stress, and difficulties comes from the need to develop a deeper understanding about boundaries. I have webinars and workshops to help you grow your abilities.