If you are anything like the women I work with, you identify as being a people pleaser, someone that struggles to put herself before others to meet your basic needs and a high-achiever. So often we overfunction because we are expected to do so. But you may be asking yourself “Why do I do this? How did I get here?” I am going to share with you information on your body’s natural boundary systems and how you can heal and grow from overfunctioning and over pleasing.

Your body’s natural boundary system explained

If you often find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, overworked, or overwhelmed, you are not alone. You should know that your body has its own barrier system and it is essential to listen to it for optimal health as it can serve as a gauge for setting limits. 

Let me explain in the content of the Immune and Nervous System…

  • The immune system is constantly monitoring what is “me” and what is not in order to produce a fight response if needed
  • The autonomic nervous system controls our breathing and heart rate and is monitoring our environment and when we feel “safe” 
  • The enteric nervous system determines what is nourishing and what causes inflammation (hello digestion and immune response) as well as regulating mood

The thing is though, when any of these are out of balance we can get sick, suffer from autoimmune diseases, feel anxious, depressed, or experience mood imbalances. Do any of these symptoms resonate with your current state? I personally know the feeling. Being out of balance can have a lasting effect on your health and it is important to get back to homeostasis.

You can also read more about how emotions reside ‘in’ the body and their impact HERE.

Here are 3 common signs that you may need boundaries for your body

  1. You are exhausted, self-care seems out of reach, and your energy reserve is depleted. 
  2. Negative story loops are on repeat in your head and you will tell anyone that is there to listen. These stories can reflect resentment and you often feel like a victim (ultimately this is your brain trying to protect you and is likely in ‘stuck’ mode).
  3. Having symptoms of nervous system hyper-arousal and have stepped outside of your Window of Tolerance’ with high anxiety, quick shallow breathing, fast heart rate, and tight muscles.  

What next?

We must learn to build boundaries for not only our mental health, but also for our physical health. When you are in fight or flight it is hard to tap into and listen to your body’s boundary red flags. Ways to calm your autonomic nervous system are helpful – techniques like meditation and mindfulness help (these are known as Top Down approaches). There are many more modalities that can support you as well, such as Bottom Up approaches. If you resonate with these common signs of needing boundary care and you want more support on building your body’s boundary system, book a clarity call with me to find out how I can support you further on your journey. 

As always, thank you for saving room for me in your inbox and I look forward to connecting with you further. If you don’t already, follow me on Instagram where I share posts and stories about all things psychology, self-care, and neuroscience daily! 

Sending love and wellbeing your way!

Lisa 🧠

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