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10 Ways to Heal Your Inner Child: A Path to Happiness

10 Ways to Heal Your Inner Child: A Path to Happiness

All of us have experienced different things as children, both good and bad. These experiences tend to stick with us, especially the bad ones.

The inner child is the one carrying these experiences within us, whether we realize it or not.

We might not be aware of the pain we carry within ourselves, but it still affects our lives and relationships.

Many people carry a wounded inner child within themselves because they experienced traumatic things in their childhood.

Healing and getting to know your inner child can help you thrive as an adult, transform your relationships and improve your emotional well-being.

What Is the Inner Child?

We’ve heard the term ‘inner child’ be thrown around quite a couple of times on social media, but do we know what it really is?

It’s not just a silly, goofy thing we say for laughs. It’s an actual psychological construct, but to simplify – the inner child is basically leftovers of our actual childhood self.

It’s shaped by our past experiences and it continues to exist deep in our subconscious.

Like any child, your inner child can be happy or wounded. It expresses joy, sadness and carries trauma.

When you address your inner child and the trauma it carries, you will see improvements in your day-to-day life!

What Can Wound the Inner Child?

A wounded inner child is more often than not a result of neglect and/or abuse.

It’s not possible to list every single thing your child-self internalized and what it endured, but some factors can cause a wounded inner child, but are not limited to:

  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment,
  • Emotional wounds that your child-self couldn’t possibly heal on its own,
  • Constantly asking for help, yet there is no one there,
  • Emotionally unavailable parents or caretakers who failed to create a safe space.

There are many more factors to take into consideration, but they all lead to childhood trauma and you can see the effects of this today.

How to Know If Your Inner Child Is Wounded

It’s important to know that not every inner child is hurt at the same degree, so the symptoms may vary and are different from person to person.

It depends on where your specific inner child is hurt, but some common signs of a wounded inner child are:

  • You have extremely big reactions when your needs are not met,
  • You have these constant feelings of emptiness and hopelessness,
  • You always feel like others don’t understand you or listen to you,
  • You have a difficult time connecting with other people,
  • You aren’t good at setting boundaries and saying ‘no’ to others,
  • You aren’t good at explaining your emotions and expressing yourself.

How Can I Start Inner Child Work?

Inner child work is a tedious but rewarding process of healing your inner child. You can never change the past, but you can always look forward and make a better future.

1. Smile at Your Inner Child

The first step you need to take on this journey is acknowledging that your inner child is there.

In order to heal your inner child, you need to work on its pain, fears and needs

This step mostly revolves around the fact that you need to accept the presence and the things that happened to your inner child. 

You might do this work internally, but it also works if you talk out loud to your inner child.

2. Listen to What Your Inner Child Is Saying

After taking the initial step and acknowledging that your inner child is wounded, you have to find out what caused that pain.

Listen to your inner child and let the emotions flow.

When you find out what causes you pain, you might see that the same things that triggered you as a child, trigger you today as an adult.

Listening to and accepting these emotions is the next step in healing your inner child.

3. Give Yourself a Hug

This is a very easy step. We all know how to hug!

Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tight. You can rock side-to-side, you can cry, scream, smile and laugh. Whatever feels good to you.

Hugging your inner child every day will give it the affection and care it needed in the early years.

4. Remembering a Happy Moment

Go back to the times you felt happy and loved. This might be memories of building sandcastles or baking cookies with your granny.

It’s important that you bring back these memories because they make your inner child feel safe.

In case you can’t think of a happy moment, imagine one, something that your inner child wished for.

5. Look In the Mirror

Looking at yourself in the mirror can help you get rid of internalized thoughts such as ‘I’m not good enough‘ or ‘Nobody cares about me.’

Stand or sit in front of a mirror and start saying positive affirmations, such as:

  • I’m good enough,
  • My feelings matter,
  • I matter,
  • I accept myself,
  • I have come so far,
  • Or find something that resonates with you.

Mirror work and positive affirmations are crucial in this process.

6. Practice Self-Compassion

We are our own worst critics. It’s very hard to be kind to yourself, especially if you carry around childhood trauma.

But you need to take time to be patient with yourself. Not everything will fall into place the moment you start your journey. Inner work is hard labor and you will power through.

7. Write a Letter to Yourself

Writing a letter, or even journaling, is a great way to connect to your inner child.

You can write about your experiences and memories as a child, you can write about how amazing they are, draw a picture for them, and the list goes on.

Writing a letter can help you understand feelings and situations that you couldn’t back then.

8. Pin Point Your Emotional Triggers

These emotional triggers are everything that makes you upset, scared or angry today, and they are linked to your past experiences. 

By pinpointing these triggers and their origins you’ll learn how to respond to them better.

For example, maybe your parents didn’t listen to you when you were a child and now when your partner is too busy, you feel rejected and abandoned.

9. Unleash the Child Within You

Keep in mind that the inner child is still, well… a child! It craves much-needed playtime.

This is a great opportunity to let loose and do all the things you loved doing as a child.

Open up that coloring book and color away, or maybe you had a favorite cartoon that aired every time you came home from school.

You can even go out to a field and just run, jump and roll around in the grass.

Basically, just do anything that your inner child would love.

10. Try Meditation

If you have any questions for your inner child that need answering, meditation is a great way to do it.

It will make you pay more attention to your feelings, accept the good ones and make peace with uncomfortable emotions.

You can even personalize it more and try out inner infant meditation. This is where you visualize yourself going back for your baby-self and saving it from the upcoming storm.

Meditating is a great way to deeply connect with your inner child.

Good Luck!

Healing isn’t always sunshine and roses. It’s a muddy path full of thorns.

Getting to the end goal is what makes it worth it because the rewards that wait for you there are priceless.

The journey itself can be rewarding if you want to look at it that way. It’s full of self-discovery, compassion and growth.

By healing your inner child, you’ll learn how to express your emotions in a healthy way and you’ll love yourself more for it!