Heal Your Inner Child – Healing Exercises you can do at home to heal your inner child and start to create lasting peace and happiness.
If you are an adult child of a dysfunctional family you may have experienced emotional neglect or another Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE).
Lack of nurturing and encouragement in childhood can affect what is known as your inner child. The inner child is the younger part of yourself that continues to exist within the adult you.
Heal Your Inner Child: Symptoms
You may not realise you need to heal your inner child until you make the connection between intense present day experiences and what happened in the past.
Some examples of things you might experience as an adult, that link to your inner child, are any of the following:
Flashbacks (i.e. an innocuous comment or event triggers an overwhelming emotional reaction)
Strange moods (i.e. feeling lonely or sad for no apparent reason)
Floating anxiety (i.e.worries and concerns that are not linked to specific events, a general unease)
Hyper-vigilance (i.e.awareness of potential threat, not feeling safe)
Disassociation (i.e.where you feel disconnected and ‘float’ above your physical body)
Numbing (i.e. compulsive behaviour such as over- eating, over-working, over-exercising, excessive browsing or scrolling social media feeds, etc).
Stress (i.e. a predisposition to stressful situations because it feels ‘normal’ and/or an inability to soothe oneself when anxious or upset).
Low self-esteem and lack of inner confidence (i.e. not being sure of your gifts or the value of what you bring to relationships or the workplace).
Depression – the blues, even if you are high functioning, i.e. holding down a job, raising a family.
Relationship issues – specifically trust + intimacy, and not being able to discern safe from unsafe people.
Often just understanding that the roots of your issues are in childhood and that these problems relate to your inner child can bring immense relief.
(– Finally, there is an explanation for the way you’ve been feeling all these years and a solution, i.e. you can work on healing your inner child.)
The inner child exercises below are to help you heal your inner child at home. For help with childhood trauma (PTSD or CPTSD) always do inner child healing work with a trained therapist.
Heal Your Inner Child Exercises
These inner child healing exercises can help you heal your inner child:
Create a safe space for your inner child
Make a room in your home (your bedroom, for example) a magical and calming space to spend time in. This might mean warm colours, cosy furniture, friendly decorations, pretty lighting and other objects that make you feel joyful.
For example, I have a unicorn toy and fluffy blankets for relaxing duvet days, where my inner child can completely relax, daydream and be herself.
Listen to your inner child
This inner child healing exercise involves asking your inner child questions. Close your eyes and see if you can imagine your inner child. When you feel connected, try to communicate from your heart and listen for answers.
Questions to ask your inner child include:
- What do you need from me?
- What do you need to heal?
- Is there anything you want to tell me?
The more you listen to your inner child, the more information your inner child will share with you. Be patient.
Spend time with your inner child
When you are trying to heal your inner child using the exercise above, your inner child may guide you to certain activities or pastimes. Some common inner child healing activities include:
Adventure helps heal your inner child
Travelling solo and / or to an unusual place can fill your inner child with delight and bring ‘dead’ or repressed parts back to life.
Do you remember how excited you felt to go to a theme park, beach, camping or somewhere new, when you were younger?
What exciting places can you think of to visit or daring activities you could do, to help heal your inner child?
Treats can help heal your inner child
Can you recall feeling really excited to spend a day at home watching pop videos or making a scrapbook, eating ice cream or being allowed to stay out late?
Perhaps you were denied certain things other children got, or were only allowed treats on rare occasions?
Imagine what treats you could provide for your inner child and give them as a gift to yourself.
This could include pampering, time off or buying yourself nice food or a bunch of flowers, as well as other luxury items. The act of giving to your inner child helps with inner child healing.
Play is good for inner child healing
… Especially art play, because it can help your inner child express emotions that have been buried or concealed. Play might include dancing, drawing, creativity, singing, sports, drama or board / card games.
Play is to get you out of ‘adult mood’ and back in contact with the younger, more naturally care-free part of yourself, that may have been lost in childhood.
Start to Heal Your Inner Child’s Feelings
This inner child healing exercise is about keeping an emotional diary or emotional log to record your feelings, especially when you feel overwhelmed by strong emotions.
The process of writing down exactly how you feel helps to process difficult emotions, as well as to become more in tune with and heal your inner child.
Writing down strong feelings can reveal common themes and unhelpful beliefs that were formed in childhood, so that they can be changed.
Writing out your emotions also helps you become more intuitive, emotionally articulate and can help with trust issues, as well as helping you express your emotions to others more effectively.
Inner Child Healing Meditation
If you want to heal your inner child, but you have found your inner child to be elusive and hard to understand, you may want to try connecting with your inner child through meditation. I teach an Inner Child Healing Meditation in my Monster Slayers 1-2-1 programme.
An inner child guided visualisation walks you through all the steps to connect safely with your inner child and develop a positive long term healing relationship.
Therapy Helps Your Inner Child Heal
Because relationship issues, including trust and discernment, are linked to inner child healing, working with an experienced therapist can be helpful to heal your inner child.
This is because a good therapist helps you to re-mother and re-father yourself, as well as forming what is known as a ‘reparative relationship’ with your inner child.
By helping you understand your inner child’s deeper feelings and needs in relationship, the therapist becomes a safe person for your inner child.
This form of inner child healing can include a greater self awareness, self esteem and self-compassion. Therapy can now be done in the comfort of your own home, due to advances in technology.
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