Being true to ourselves is a tremendous avenue for supporting mental wellbeing and our personal ability to thrive. Like many other practices, it’s a lifelong journey that’s ever-evolving with the lessons we learn over the years — and we can learn from others. One guideline to safeguard that space for us to thrive is to actively create healthy boundaries for ourselves and those closest to us or those we interact with often.

Remain in your lane.

Next time you’re feeling stressed or upset, consider asking yourself, “Whose business am I in?” Avoid spending energy on someone else’s happenings where you have no power. Afterall, we have plenty to work on for ourselves. Melissa Urban (co-founder and CEO of the Whole 30 eating plan, and celebrating her 50th year with life lessons she would impart on anyone) says it best — “If you’re in someone else’s business, who is running your own?” And remember, what others think of us is not our business.

She recommends flexing our immunity to external validation. It goes against popular practice — acknowledging praise but not letting ourselves react to it. Even when someone compliments your hair or style, remind yourself that it does not change how you feel about yourself. One method might be to think: “It’s kind that you choose to experience me that way, but it doesn’t say anything about how I feel about me.”

This rule is even more important when someone sends non-constructive criticism your way. Remember, it’s simply not about you — “It’s you, not me.” Leave their judgement where it is; you don’t have to ‘pick it up’ and carry it with you. It won’t affect how you feel about yourself, which maintains your mental wellbeing.

Finetune how you define yourself.

In all areas of your life, take some time to recognize how you feel about yourself. Get specific in your definition of yourself. How do you feel about the way you look? Act? Carry yourself? Parent? Relate to those closest to you?

It’s a frank, honest assessment or reflection of yourself that will be shaped over your lifetime. When you have a clearer idea of yourself — as defined by yourself — it’s much more challenging to succumb to any conflicting reviews from others. This can help support mental wellbeing because it reinforces a sense and understanding of ourselves and overall confidence.

Say what you mean and hold others to do it, too.

Remove any guessing and place value on truth over politeness. Communicate clearly with others, especially those closest to you, so they never need to decode what you’re saying. No speculating, no guessing, no reading between the lines; just authentic, clear communication, which is sometimes uncomfortable, but can be most productive. They know where you stand, and in return, you are more trustworthy, and relationships tend to get easier and flourish from this quality. Healthy, positive relationships support mental wellbeing and balance in life. Encourage those around you to say what they mean, too. It’s also important to verify what you are talking about, so each person is in-sync with what the conversation is covering and there is no misunderstanding. 

Personal boundaries and simple practices like these can support overall mental wellbeing, which impacts the other seven domains of what we call the Wellbeing Wheel – emotional, physical, social, financial, environmental, occupational and spiritual. This vital balance can lead to a life of greater wellbeing and personal thriving.


“Introducing Human Flourishing and How It Relates to Your Wellness Program,”, Sari Vasquez, Sept. 27, 2022.

“Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say: Seven Tips for Being an Authentic Communicator,” Jessica Schrader,, July 26, 2016. “Happy Birthday to Me! I’m Fifty Years Old Today. And Not as Freaked Out as I Thought I’d Be.” Melissa Urban,, March 4, 2024