• Ela Senghera

How to Heal Your Inner Child?

We adults have so much to learn from children, yet to our disadvantage we rarely do! There are plenty of reasons why that might be the case - life experience and limiting beliefs being on the top of that list. So, what can we do to bring joy and playfulness back to our lives? How can we achieve that if we have always underplayed our sense of playfulness and curiosity?

Well, let's start from stating the obvious - each one of us has an inner child, although it may not be what you think... It’s not the childlike personality you might have been holding onto or lack of maturity in your behaviour or not taking responsibility for your life. Your inner child is the version of you from your childhood. It’s all the aspects of your childhood that are remembered by your subconscious mind.

Connecting with our inner child is essential to good mental health. Your inner child consists of all the memories: the positive and the negative, the suppressed emotions, the dreams and hopes you had as a child. All this is stored in your mind and builds your identity and your belief system. In order for you to grow and develop as a person, you need to reconnect with and heal our inner child. Healing your inner child needs to be your journey. Nobody else can do it for you. You might have buried some memories and emotions so deep that it may be hard for you to uncover them. You might have felt misunderstood, hurt or unsupported at some point..Or you felt not heard or not seen.

By healing your inner child, you can start to provide the protection and stability that your younger self has always wanted and needed. By soothing our inner child, you will become more aware of your inner needs, your dreams, desires, hidden talents and our endless potential for love.

Here are 4 tips to help soothe your inner child

  1. Acknowledge and listen to your inner child. Recognising and accepting things that have hurt you as a child is a big part of the process of embracing your inner child. You must pay attention to the feelings and emotions you experience strongly in order to connect with your inner child. There is a reason why you react the way you do in certain life situations as an adult. You can learn more by bringing these feelings to the surface. You could experience anger, bitterness, vulnerability and grief while you go through this inner process. It's important to understand where your strongest emotions come from. So remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Ultimately, once you recognise how much was out of your control, your anguish might change into relief.

  2. Remember what brought you joy as a child. We stop playing as we grow older, and eventually, we forget how to play. We take ourselves seriously because the stakes seem so big. Worst still - many of us develop and listen to our inner critic and take our mistakes very seriously.. So often we allow our fear of failure to determine our actions and our identity. So it’s important to find the playfulness inside us again. Reintroduce the things you enjoyed as a child into your life and include them in your weekly or daily schedule. The things you enjoyed without fear of messing up! It could be dancing, painting, or writing, being outside, feeding the ducks. Give yourself the chance to freely and creatively express yourself again. This will nurture your soul and help your inner child heal.

  3. Be your own parent. Become a parent to your younger self. Your inner child needs you. Especially when you sense your inner child is wounded, anxious or misunderstood. Be the parent you wish you had when you felt lonely, agitated or sad. Encourage your inner adult to question any biases you may have developed as a result of neglect or abuse when you were growing up. Nobody has perfect parents. We all harbour a few resentments toward family members, even when we know they've done their best. We can't go back in time and undo the damage, but we stop the trauma and not let it continue. By doing so we will prevent our childhood experiences defining who we are today and who we strive to be in the future. By showing ourselves compassion, self-love and acceptance we can move onto becoming a happier version of ourselves.

  4. Create a safe space for your inner child. The present-day you and your inner child need a safe place to process the hurt while feeling seen, heard, and acknowledged. It can take a lot of effort to get past the pain you’ve felt and repressed in your early years. Processing these feelings can take time and patience. However, when we do finally heal, it can be very rewarding. Our emotions and triggers are deeply ingrained in our subconscious mind which makes it hard to love ourselves no matter how hard we try. Creating a safe space where we can reconnect with our vulnerable selves is key to healing. If you struggle on your own - consider therapy. A therapy will offer you a protected time and space to express your deepest thoughts and feelings.

Healing your inner child has plenty of advantages, like improving the quality of your relationships and the results in your job/career. However, healing your inner child is a lifelong process, one that takes persistence and self-compassion, but it's totally worth it in the end...

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