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Having boundaries is a significant part of having healthy relationships, particularly when you are in recovery from substance abuse or are facing mental health issues. Boundaries are how you ensure that you are comfortable and others are not engaging in behaviors that harm you, your mental health or put your sobriety at risk.

Once you have decided what your boundaries are, the next step is to enforce them; however, this can be challenging at times. Here are tips on how to enforce your boundaries.

Create Clear and Specific Boundaries

Well-defined boundaries are easier to enforce. Make sure you outline your boundaries as clearly and precisely as possible. It may help to write down your boundaries before discussing them with others to give yourself a better idea of what you would like to say and how to say it.

Have Consequences for Crossed Boundaries

Choose consequences for your boundaries that you know you can follow through on. Let other people know what will happen when they cross your boundaries. Having consequences and following through on them can make it easier for you to enforce your boundaries.

Be Consistent

Inconsistent enforcement can confuse other people. If you do not stay on top of your boundaries, other people are more likely to continue to cross them. Once you state a boundary, do your best to stick to it and always carry out the consequences you’ve stated.

Reassure Loved Ones

It can be challenging to enforce boundaries when you are scared of hurting your loved ones in the process. Explain to your loved ones that your boundaries aren’t meant to be harmful. Remind your loved ones that you care about them, and boundaries are meant to strengthen your relationship, not damage it.

Give Gentle Reminders

Most likely, you will need to discuss your boundaries more than once. While this can be frustrating, it is normal; it can help to think of setting and maintaining boundaries as an ongoing conversation with another person that helps keep your relationship healthy. If someone slips up and crosses your boundaries, calmly and firmly remind them, and don’t forget to follow through on your consequences.

Setting boundaries is an essential aspect of recovering from substance abuse and mental health problems. However, enforcing boundaries can be challenging at times. Creating clear and specific boundaries, having consequences, being consistent, reassuring loved ones, and giving gentle reminders can help you as you learn how to enforce your boundaries. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance abuse or mental health problem, The Guest House is here to help. We help individuals overcome their underlying issues and trauma through various treatment modalities. To learn more, call us today at (855) 483-7800.