This blog shares 5 ways to connect with your inner child. You may be wondering – who? Your inner child is essentially yourself as a child, living inside of your subconscious. We may not be aware of them, or understand how to connect with them. Think of your inner child as a younger version of yourself, displaying themself through your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and desires.
It could be that as a child, you endured moments where your needs were not properly met, you did not experience the love and support you needed, and you were impacted negatively in one way or another by someone you love. This left you with lingering feelings of rejection, abandonment, guilt, resentment, sadness, insecurity, and more.
As a present adult today, when we don’t get our needs met or experience the love and support we need, we may react outwardly towards others.
We may miscommunicate, have difficulty explaining or expressing ourselves, or struggle with feelings of unresolved frustration. It may be hard for us to tie our present emotional state or reasoning to that of when we were a child.
By listening to and validating our inner child’s needs, thoughts, and feelings, we can feel more protective, and proactive for ourselves. We may have a stronger desire to establish boundaries with others, prioritize our mental health, and overall care for ourselves better.
The 5 ways to connect include: 1) Acknowledge them. 2) Listen to them. 3) Connect your present feelings to your past experiences as a child. 4) Write them a letter. 5) Engage in activities that bring them out. Trauma therapy helps you process trauma and cope with PTSD in a safe, compassionate environment. Make sure to read our blog on How to Sit with Uncomfortable Feelings.
5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Child: Acknowledge them
Acknowledge your inner child by starting with who they are. When imagining the younger version of yourself, you do not have to be only a child – maybe your inner child is more of a teenage version of yourself. Picture them in your mind: what does your inner child look like? Did you have a favorite outfit as a child, such as a sweater or pair of shoes?
What might your inner child be holding in their hands, what are their interests? Reflect back on what you loved to do as a child or teen, and what you would typically be up to. Maybe you enjoyed reading books, playing outside with friends, being in nature, helping your family cook in the kitchen, and more.
Now, consider what your inner child wants. What do they hope for? What are their dreams? Thinking about that version of yourself, what do they need? What did they need back then, and do you currently have that now? This could look like validation, reassurance, unconditional support or love.
Imagine yourself standing next to your inner child. What has changed between the two of you, and what is the same? What interests, hobbies, or dreams do you still hold, or are they completely different these days? There is no right or wrong answer here.
Trauma therapy is offered at New Leaf through a trauma-informed lens. Our therapists are experienced in helping you process and cope with childhood, or recent, trauma. Make sure to read our blog on How to Validate Yourself.
5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Child: Listen to them
You will hear your inner child “speaking” in distressing situations. The situations could look like moments of not having your needs met, not having your boundaries respected, or not receiving the support, care, or validation that you are seeking. Some situations may trigger emotional pain to resurface in you.
An example could be getting in an argument with your loved one, whether that be a friend or a partner. Perhaps you got in a tiff with them, and acknowledge that you are at fault.
However, now you are worried that because of this tiff, they want to end your relationship, and you anxiously await to resolve the matter. This could be because in the past, a parent figure may have abandoned you in times where you felt anxious or insecure, and failed to give you reassurance.
You may have experienced feelings of rejection in childhood, abandonment by people you loved, or felt insecure about yourself in one way or another. When you react with miscommunication or difficulty expressing or explaining yourself, it may be a sign that your inner child is seeking to be addressed and healed.
LGBTQIA+ therapy understands the unique challenges that individuals face within the community. We give you a space to be accepted, heard, and empowered. Make sure to read our blog on What is LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy?.
5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Child: Connect your present feelings to your past experiences as a child
Connect your present feelings to past experiences as a child. Similar to listening to them, try to reflect and identify specific events that are significant to you and your history. As a child, you may have been put in distressing situations that you could not understand at the time. When they were happening, you were unsure of the reason behind them.
In your present day feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, how can you tie them back to your childhood? You may find that you were heavily influenced by events that occurred in the home. An example of this could be witnessing a volatile relationship between your parents.
They were abusive towards each other, whether verbally insulting or physically attacking each other. After these events transpired, they eventually made up, and would be loving to each other until the abuse occurred again. You may have believed that these scenarios represent true love, and inevitably, you found yourself in similar relationships as an adult.
Trauma therapy helps you understand how traumatic events have impacted you by manifesting through your symptoms, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors. Make sure to read our blog on 3 Reasons to Start Childhood Trauma Therapy.
5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Child: Write them a letter
Write your inner child a meaningful letter from your adult perspective. You can write several letters to the different versions of yourself in childhood and adolescence. Maybe you want to write to the inner childs that are six years old, 13 years old, and 17 years old. Those are significant time periods in your life, where you endured difficult moments.
You may want to address how they were feeling during that time. Were they scared, insecure, angry, or sad? What may have been running through their minds during those times? Did you feel hard to love, or scared that no one would be there for you? Maybe you experienced frustration, grief, or more difficult feelings.
Tell yourself what you would’ve wanted to hear, such as:
- I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished.
- I’m so glad you were born.
- You can come to me for support whenever you’re feeling sad, happy, frustrated, excited, scared, or nervous.
- You do not have to be perfect to get my love and support.
- You are kind, and worthy of having kind people in your life.
- All of your feelings are okay with me.
What things would you want your inner child to know about you now? You can let them know what you’re proud or grateful for in your life right now. Maybe you have a beloved pet, a supportive figure you can trust, or are on your journey to self-love.
You may also want to speak on experiences that were scary, uncomfortable, or adverse during your childhood or adolescence. Go back to those memories, and rewrite them for how you would’ve wanted them to play out. Explain why certain experiences happened, while acknowledging that you were not at fault for them.
Anxiety therapy works with individuals seeking to find relief from their symptoms, and learn to cope and heal on a daily basis. Make sure to check out our blog on 3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk!
5 Ways to Connect with Your Inner Child: Engage in activities that bring them out
Activities that bring out your inner child can be anything that makes you relieve the joy, innocence, or calmness you felt as a child. This doesn’t necessarily mean to playplaying with toys or pretend to be a teacher reaching to a classroomengaging in imaginary play (unless you want it to be). It means engaging in things that put your mind at ease, that you can genuinely enjoy.
Reflect back onto memories from your childhood that made you feel good. What activities were you engaging in? Do you have a specific location or place that you enjoyed frequenting? These can be areas in nature, being near a body of water, going to amusement parks, being in a cuddly bed, at exciting events or concerts.
Notice what activities make you feel safe or happy in your present day. Maybe you like going to museums or bookstores, interesting restaurants or bars, gardens, to your favorite person’s house. You may enjoy engaging in art, creation, exploration, adventure, and much more. There is a wide variety of activities for you to choose from, for you to bring out your inner child.
You can do these alone, or with a friend, several friends, family members, coworkers, pets – whatever feels right. Just remember that you deserve to experience moments that are easy-going, do not take up much energy, and leave you feeling good about yourself.
Beginning your journey to heal your inner child can feel like a lot. You’re not sure of what you may uncover, and if you will be able to make it through to the end. By working with a mental health professional, you can achieve your goals to heal your inner child, and then some!
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Validate Yourself!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.