Let’s be honest when we think of self-care and self-love we think that means buying yourself candles and taking bubble baths with scented bath bombs. Although those things are great for you at the moment self-love is so much deeper than that, it’s a process of healing and understanding yourself on a deeper and more personal level. One way to start is to begin your journey of healing your inner child.
Inner child healing is the process of uncovering and working on traits you have that cause you to react in a “child-like” way when in certain situations, so that you may react to them in more of an “adult-like” way. For example, as a child you could’ve lived in an environment where the people in your life always made you feel like what you were doing was never enough, so in return as an adult, you chase validation and often worry that you aren’t doing a good enough job. By recognizing and healing these traits it can help you flourish in your personal life, romantic relationships, friendships, and even help you be a better parent to your children.
There are many ways to heal your inner child, however here are a few that can help.
Journaling is an exercise to give your inner child the opportunity to speak freely without any filter. You can do a free writing exercise where you literally just write everything and anything that comes to mind, or you can use a list of prompts to help you get started. Try starting with prompts like:
What places from your childhood made you feel the safest? Why?
In what ways did you feel neglected as a child? How do you think that effects you now?
What is something you were made fun of for as a child? Does that still bother you today?
Meditating can give you an opportunity to become more comfortable with your feelings and emotions, whether they’re good or bad. It also can help you practice mindfulness so that you are more self aware of when you’re reacting to situations with your child-like mind.
Enjoying things that remind you of your childhood
Allowing yourself to enjoy things that you once enjoyed as a child can help you create safe spaces for your inner child to be set free. You can do things like listening to music or watching TV shows you once enjoyed as a kid, or even signing yourself up for a hobby you were involved in or have always wanted to try.
Talking to a therapist can also create a safe space for you to begin unlocking any emotional trauma and learn helpful strategies for healing your inner child. Most therapist actually target childhood trauma for all practices because it is usually the source of a lot of things that happen to us in life.
Always remember that healing is never a never-ending journey and needs time and consistency, so don’t feel discouraged if you find yourself still hurting about things or reacting to certain situations caused by your childhood trauma. It is all just a process that requires time and remember to stay open-minded.