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What’s an Inner Child, and How Do You Heal Them?
Whether you know it or not, everyone has an inner child. This concept refers to the part of your identity that’s been around since childhood. As we navigate life and experience trauma, we often bury this aspect of ourselves and ignore our innermost desires.
Of course, everyone has to grow up at some point. However, living with a damaged inner child has several adverse effects on our everyday lives.
Now that you know what an inner child is, how do you heal them? While the process seems simple, it takes a lot of patience and grace to navigate successfully. However, all that work is worthwhile if it means living a happy and healthy life.
Engage in Childhood Joys
Before you start healing your inner child, you need to connect with them first. Think back to your younger years and identify the things that brought you joy. This could be anything, like a childhood sport, a funny TV show, or a cherished stuffed animal.
For example, connecting with a past version of yourself is one reason some people collect toys. You need a healthy dose of childlike wonder in your life to recoup from your daily responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to give the silly, innocent side of yourself room to feel joy.
Write Yourself a Letter
Talking to yourself might seem pointless. After all, what could you say to yourself that you don’t already know? The truth is that writing a letter to yourself can uncover some hidden wounds that you didn’t realize were negatively impacting your life.
There’s no “right way” to write a letter to your younger self. Some find it helpful to begin with kind words and accomplishments. You can talk your inner child through difficult memories, confront past insecurities, and give yourself reassurance to open a safe and healthy dialogue.
Speak With a Therapist
Healing your inner child can take a toll on your mental health. That’s why it’s always a good idea to speak with a therapist when approaching sensitive topics. Even if you think you know yourself, professional guidance can help smooth the process.
Your therapist might pose questions that you didn’t think to ask your inner child. They may also give you other therapeutic assignments to enhance your treatment. Your doctor has your best interests at heart and will keep you from injuring your young self even further.
Believe it or not, inner child work is a real concept in analytical psychology that many professionals swear by. You can’t grow in the future if you’re still holding onto wounds from the past. Use these tips to improve yourself so that you can put your best foot forward.