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Setting Health Boundaries

[derived from Insight Timer Meditation App with Terri Cole ]


Time Commitment: 10 days + & counting


Here is an excellent course with Terry Cole.

Terri is a psychotherapist, global empowerment expert, author of Boundary Boss-The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen and (Finally) Live Free and host of her popular podcast The Terri Cole Show. She has a gift for making complex psychological concepts accessible and actionable for sustainable change. Meditation is an integral part of her winning formula for helping thousands of clients and students better manage stress, anxiety, insomnia (and more) to create happier, more fulfilling lives.



In today’s session, we are focusing on Setting Boundaries.

We all know we need to set boundaries. But in the moment summoning the courage to say no or state a preference can be challenging. Today you will learn all about why it might be hard for you to set boundaries, and how raising your awareness makes it easier to actually set them.


Today's Mindful Action was to go through the list of common struggles when setting boundaries and note which ones resonate with the most. Take out your journal and reflect on a few examples in your life from the struggles you’ve had.  Write out what happened and how you would like it to be different.


As a refresher, here's the list:  


1. No one ever taught you about boundaries

2. Fear of rejection 

3. You have the disease to please

4. Not having discernment (like where a boundary is needed)

5. You struggle with codependency

6. You don’t know where to start

7. You are conflict avoidant

8. Ineffective communication

9. In denial that you need them 

10. Not realizing when a boundary has been crossed

11. You don’t know the right words to use

12. You worry about what others will think of you

13. You are afraid of hurting someone's feelings

14. You don’t know your preferences, limits & deal breakers


Which struggles hit home for you? 


DAY 1 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


DAY 1 Reflection Question:

What stops you from effectively setting boundaries?

  • fear of conflict

  • Inability to effectively communicate your concerns

  • Low self-awareness (on where a boundary is needed)

  • Fear of hearing their feelings


Welcome to Day 2. In today’s session, we are focusing on Boundary Myths.


Do you ever worry about how you will be perceived if you speak up, express a limit, disagree, or simply say, no? Do you fear being misunderstood or labeled a drama queen, moody, or selfish? 


Today, we’ll cover the top boundary myths that might be keeping you stuck in an old familiar boundary pattern.


DAY 2 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Today's Mindful Action was all about understanding the fears (which are often myths) you have around asserting your boundaries. Here are some of the most common boundary myths: 


1. Boundaries push people away

  1. 2. Boundaries are selfish

  2. 3. Setting boundaries requires you to be mean

  3. 4. Setting boundaries requires too much time

  4. 5. Setting boundaries requires you to say no all the time

  5. 6. “Real love” doesn’t need boundaries

  6. 7. You won’t be liked if you set boundaries


What came up for you during this session? Did you learn anything new about yourself? Please write your reflections in your journal.

DAY 2 Reflection Question:

What boundary myth is your biggest blocker?

  • Setting boundaries are selfish

  • You won’t be liked if you set boundaries

  • Setting boundaries requires you to always say no

  • You don’t need boundaries when it comes to real love


Day 2 done!



Welcome to Day 3 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge. In today's session, we are focusing on Boundary Offenses.


Your body is constantly sending you signals. Whether it is that gut feeling, heart racing, or even a headache, your body’s reactions hold the answers to your mind’s questions. Today, we'll focus on how your body alerts you when someone crosses your boundaries.


DAY 3 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Well done on getting to the end of Day 3. Today was all about being able to recognize when someone crosses one of your boundaries and figuring out what to do about it. Possible signs are: 


Physical Sensations such as:

- Constriction in your chest

- Pain in the throat

- Freezing up

- Muscles Tense

- Gut or head pain 

- Accelerated heartbeat 

- Sweaty palms


Emotional Sensations such as: 

- Feeling resentment 

- Feeling irritated or annoyed 

- A desire to flee

- Something feeling “off”

- Sudden anger or frustration

- Feeling burned out

- Feeling like you want to cry


Today's Mindful Action is to journal about how a crossed boundary usually presents itself in your body? What comes up for you?


DAY 3 Reflection Question:

How does a crossed boundary usually present itself in your body?

  • Physically, such as a constriction in your chest or accelerated heartbeat

  • Physically, such as sweaty palms or freezing up

  • Emotionally, such as feeling anger and resentment

  • Emotionally, such as wanting to cry


Welcome to Day 4 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge. In today's session, we are focusing on Boundary Bullies.


Today, we'll learn how to raise your awareness about those around you who are violating your boundaries. Knowing who your biggest offenders are and bringing mindful awareness to the issue when you’re not in the heat of the moment is a great place to start building your boundary resilience.


DAY 4 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


You can now check off Day 4. Today was all about recognising and dealing with boundary bullies. Here are some useful definitions for you:


Boundary First-Timers: People to whom you have never actually expressed a boundary request with words (i.e. you have not yet given them a chance to change their behavior.).


Boundary Repeat-Offenders: People to whom you have stated your boundaries, and yet they continue to cross the line that you have explicitly drawn. 


Boundary Bullies: People who want what they want regardless of how you feel or how you approach them. They can act in overtly or covertly manipulative ways to get what they want from you.


Today's Mindful Action, you were asked to write about a situation where you know you need to set a boundary but you haven't. If you feel comfortable, please write what that boundary is and why it's proving difficult.

DAY 4 Reflection Question:

What type of boundary-offenders are more present in your life?

  • Boundary first-timers

  • Boundary repeat-offenders

  • Boundary bullies

  • All of the above



Welcome to Day 5 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge.. You're halfway through!


In today's session, we are focusing on establishing your VIP Section. 


Imagine that your life has a VIP section like a club or venue. You are in charge of that area, create the guest list, and are the only bouncer. Today is about raising your awareness of who is in the VIP section and why not everyone should be admitted. The more you understand the underlying reasons for allowing entitled or misguided people to take up important space in your life, the easier it will be to draw needed boundaries.


DAY 5 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Day 5 is complete – you're halfway through! Today raised the important topic of deciding who is deserving of your company, your time, and your energy; getting clear on your VIP list. And not everyone deserves that right. 


Today's Mindful Action

In your journal reflect on the following questions:


Did you have trouble deciding on who belongs to your VIP list? 


These questions often help: 

1. Does spending time with this person energize or deplete you? 

2. Do you look forward to spending time with them or secretly kind of dread it? 

3. Does this relationship feel like an obligation rather than a choice? 

4. Is the relationship based on the other person’s desire to spend time with you rather than your own?


What did you learn when compiling this list? Did you move many people around? 

DAY 5 Reflection Question:

Does everyone on your VIP list deserve the spot? Let’s be honest here (I won’t tell anyone).

  • Absolutely!

  • Most of them do, it’s work-in-process

  • My list definitely needs some revision

  • I need to start a totally new list!


Welcome to Day 6 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge.  In today's session, we are focusing on the process of over-giving and over-functioning. 


Over-functioning refers to doing more than your share and being unclear about what IS your responsibility and what’s NOT. The aim of today is to raise your awareness about where you might be over-giving, over-functioning or over-doing and ideas of what to do instead.


DAY 6 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Well done on getting to the end of Day 6. During today's Mindful Action, you were asked to make a list of any relationship, interaction, or areas of your life where you over-functioned or over-gave. 


Here are some common over-functioning characteristics:


1. Being overly focused on actively solving another person's problem

2. Frequently giving unsolicited advice

3. Doing things that are part of another person's responsibilities.

4. Feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders

5. Feeling exhausted from doing too much 

6. Feeling under-appreciated and resentful for doing too much

7. The thought of stopping over-functioning for loved ones creates anxiety and a sense of being out of control


When journaling making your list, what came up for you? Feel free to share in the comments what you find yourself doing that is not your responsibility.


DAY 6 Reflection Question:

Do you feel like you give much more than you take? Pick which habit(s) you identify with the most:

  • Taking on others’ responsibilities

  • Feeling emotionally exhausted from doing (and caring) too much

  • Frequently giving unsolicited advice

  • Feeling underappreciated and resentful



Welcome to Day 7 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge. In today's session, we are focusing on auto-advice giving. 


When someone is talking about a problem they’re having, do you feel immediately compelled to give your thoughts, opinions or previous experience knowledge to help FIX their problem?  It is so tempting to give and accept unsolicited advice. Today, we’re covering why auto-advice giving is a boundary block and what you might say instead.


DAY 7 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Day 7, check! Today was all about auto-advice giving. Instead of always jumping in to give advice, Terri made the great suggestion of asking expansive questions instead. 


For example:


- What does your gut instinct say?

- How do you feel about it?

- What do you think you should do?


In your Mindful Action, you were asked to make a list in your journal of unsolicited advice or criticism you gave or received this week. How did you find the exercise? What came up for you?


DAY 7 Reflection Question:

Do you feel like you give much more than you take? Pick which habit(s) you identify with the most:

  • An auto-advice giver

  • An auto-advice receiver

  • A little bit of both

  • Neither


Welcome to Day 8 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge. In today's session, we are focusing on boundaries and denial. 


Do you find yourself making excuses for other people who cross boundaries in your relationships? Or are you too understanding of other people’s unacceptable behavior? Today, we will be uncovering the lies you tell yourself to avoid conflict, discomfort or setting a boundary you really need to make.         


DAY 8 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Well done on completing Day 8 – not long to go now. Today's session was about Boundaries and denial, uncovering the lies you tell yourself to avoid conflict or draw boundaries. 


During the Mindful Action, you were asked to think about the last week and make a list of any excuses you made for other people or yourself to keep the peace or avoid speaking up.


In your journal, what came up for you in today's session? What are some of the big or small lies you tell yourself to avoid setting boundaries? 


DAY 8 Reflection Question:

What is the most common excuse you make for yourself or others to avoid speaking up?

  • You’re blowing the issue out of proportion

  • They’re having a hard time, cut them some slack

  • It’s your responsibility to help/join/do something for this person

  • They’re probably unaware of how it makes you feel



Welcome to Day 9 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge. In today's session, we are focusing on boundary script starters.


Do you ever fumble around with the words when you know you need to set a boundary? Implementing boundaries is so much easier when you have the right language. Today you'll learn practical script starters and language to set limits so that in the moment you’ll have the words and know what to say.


DAY 9 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


Day 9, done! Today was all about the all-important Boundary Script Starters. Words are powerful, and what you say matters. But it's not always easy to find the right language.


Today's Mindful Action was to treat the following sentence starters like mantras or affirmations. To get them into your mind and your body through repetition. Practice looking into your eye while saying it in the mirror. 


They were: 

  • I have a simple request that____

  • I wanted to bring to your attention that

  • I wanted to revisit what happened last Wednesday/

  • Last summer ...

  • Thank you for thinking of me, I’ll have to check my calendar 

  • My answer is non-negotiable. Please respect it

  • I want you to be aware of how I feel about our interaction 

  • No, thanks

  • I need to tell you that... 

  • No, I would really appreciate it if you could let me finish my story before telling yours.

  • No, that doesn’t work for me. 


DAY 9 Reflection Question:

What boundary-script starter can you see yourself using regularly?

  • I wanted to bring to your attention that…

  • Thank you for thinking of me, I’ll have to check my calendar.

  • My answer is non-negotiable. Please respect it.

  • No, that doesn’t work for me.


Welcome to Day 10 of the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge here on Insight Timer. Congratulations on making it to the end! How do you feel?


In our final session today we're focusing on how to practice and prioritize self-care. 


Have you ever thought that self-care is selfish?


Self-care is about replenishing your resources without depleting someone else's. And setting healthy boundaries regularly is a radical act of self-care and self-love. It is a powerful way to protect yourself from emotional harm, keep your personal dignity intact, and strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. Today, we’ll cover real self-care ideas including better boundaries!


DAY 10 - 10-minute Guided Meditation


You've made it to Day 10! Congratulations on completing the 10-Day Setting Boundaries Challenge.


How do you feel after reflecting on the balance in your relationships? Are you ready to make some changes and enforce your boundaries? Your Mindful Action is to journal about your before/after thoughts to remember the work you’ve done here.


In today's lesson, we established that self-care and boundaries are intertwined and together they provide a solid foundation for your well-being. Write about your self-care practices you've put together during today's journaling exercise.


DAY 10 Reflection Question:

How are you feeling about setting boundaries after these 10 days?

  • Motivated and ready! I’ve already started making changes

  • I’m clear on what I need to do, but still lacking a bit of confidence

  • It's going to take more time to unpack where I am at with my boundaries

  • I’m scared and I don’t know how to move forward with taking action in my life.


Regardless of where you are at, you did a lot of life changing work. This is a daily practice of awareness and inspired action. Today, find some way to celebrate YOU.  Congratulate yourself and tell a friend.  If you don’t have someone, send me a message to help celebrate you.  No, it’s not weird, it’s important!  


You’ve got this!  I have faith in YOU!

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