It’s likely you have heard people referencing your inner child whether that’s from a psychological perspective or at Disney land when someone exclaims “my inner child is so content right now”. Despite it being overused and often misunderstood it is an important concept.
Everyone has an inner child. The inner child is a part of an adult’s character that behaves in a child-like manner in contrast to how a logical adult would behave or react. Some show theirs more than others.
Healing your inner child is a really useful tool for offering increased self-care, self-awareness, resolving unhealthy patterns and recognising your unmet needs.
Healing your inner child can take time but here are 6 tips on where to get started:
Create a safe for you and your inner child to write about your feelings without judgement. The aim of journalling for your inner child is to honour your inner child’s perception without filtering.
My therapist suggested even writing with a crayon to enhance that child-like element or you could try writing with your writing hand as an adult and the other hand as a child.
2. Communicate with your inner child
This can feel a little uncomfortable at first but it is likely your inner child is speaking to you through your actions and behaviours, you just haven’t been listening. One of the best ways to start is writing your inner child a letter acknowledging them, their feelings or any trauma you have gone through.
Eventually, you may feel comfortable talking aloud to a photograph of you as a child or visualising yourself as a child and having a conversation internally
3. Nurture your creativity
The first thing I did when I started to heal my inner child was to start getting creative. I bought adult colour bookings and started to draw using Procreate on my iPad. Then, I taught myself to play the piano. As playing the piano was one of the things I desperately wanted as a child.
Nurturing your inner child’s creativity can be anything from gardening, cooking, or reading.
Ask yourself, what did you love to do as a child that you don’t do anymore?
4. Reparent yourself
You and your inner child deserve to be loved, protected and have their basic needs met. If you are struggling with any of these aspects, I highly recommend exploring reparenting yourself. This means protecting yourself and looking after yourself perhaps in ways that were not met when you were a child.
5. Learn mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness have many great benefits for both physical and emotional health and they can also be a useful tool to heal your inner child wounds. For starters, mindfulness boosts your self awareness and teaches you to be more aware of your day to day feelings.
As children, we often have a hard time naming uncomfortable emotions particularly if we were raised in an environment where we were discouraged from expressing ourselves. I highly recommend the Headspace app for a beginners guide to meditation and mindfulness.
6. Speak to a therapist
If you have the mental and financial capacity to, I would always recommend reaching our to a professional licensed therapist in regards to healing your inner child. You can either reach out to your doctor and ask to be put on the waiting list for a counsellor or fund a therapist privately.