Inner Child Work: 3 Habits to Reconnect (and Heal) Your Inner Child.
You’ve been doing the work long enough to understand that you were an unhappy child for reasons beyond your control. But now that you’re an adult, you’d like to put the past behind you and move on with your life right?
But it’s easier said than done. For many of us, the pain of our past has kept us from living fully in the present. If you were the type of person who was abused or neglected as a child, you may have developed a lot of pent-up anger and resentment toward others or yourself.
Regardless of your current relationship with yourself, you need to read on.
We all have a bit of an inner child who’s longed to be loved and taken care of. And that child has been hidden within us the entire time. Fortunately, with the right tools and the desire to make the necessary changes, you’ll be able to reconnect with and heal your inner child.
Here are 3 habits we recommend trying if you are ready to do the work:
Foster a sense of humor
Remember how much you used to laugh as a kid? All those times used to grab your belly as it hurt from laughing so hard? It was pure bliss, wasn’t it?
The problem is, as we grow up, we’re often told to “toughen up” or “let it go”. That’s when we start feeling hurt or angry. But what if we could change the way we look at things and see the humor in life despite hardships? Humor is the key to nurturing the child in all of us. Next time you feel the urge to get upset or angry, do what you can to “play” with your inner child and give yourself permission to laugh it off!
When we can draw on our inner child’s sense of humor, we create an environment that is more conducive to joy. So, the first thing you have to do is identify what makes you smile, and bring more of that into your life.
Ideas: Watch your favorite childhood movie and laugh out loud, try something you know you’re terrible at or join a comedy club.
Let go of perfectionism and comparison-itis
It’s normal to hate screwing up. It’s what we’re programmed to. But the drive to be perfect can get in the way of living our best lives. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking other people have it together or are better than you.
Remember when you were a kid, you weren’t fixated on the idea of making things “perfect” you just went for it! You didn’t care who approved of what you were doing, you just DID! So, try GOING for things, without caring about the outcome every now and then. It is both liberating and fun!
Ideas: Go to a pottery class, be more spontaneous, or pick a new hobby just for the fun of it!
Learn how to play with your inner child
“Play is a kind of freedom, and where there is play, there is no fear.” -Gustav Mahler
We often get so caught up in being adults that we forget to play like children. While there are times when kids need to be serious, it’s just as important to let go and have fun.
When was the last time you enjoyed yourself so much you lost track of time? Or the last time you smiled so much your cheeks hurt? If you can’t remember, it’s time to go out there and play!
You will feel silly at first, and you might even fear that people will laugh at you or be mean to you. But that’s OK. You do you and let others worry about their own stuff!
Ideas: Pick a new hobby just for the fun of it, go to the park and ride the swings, put on your headphones, and dance your way through the aisles of the supermarket as your grocery shopping.
Repeat these three habits until they become natural to you.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to reconnect with your inner child and shine your light once again. These three habits will help you on your journey and gain back control of your own happiness.
Now, remember it’s not a race! Take your time, follow the process at your own pace, and make sure you are doing what feels right for you and you only!
*Disclosure: Sometimes our best intentions to heal and move forward are thwarted by our own insecurities and denial. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!