Your inner child is the innocent part of yourself still living within you. When some people think of their younger selves, they envision a playful and joyous child. Others view the younger version of themselves as sad and damaged or in need of protection. Everyone has an inner child but some of us bury the pain behind the memories of our younger years deep inside. A wounded inner child can destroy your life.
When it comes to understanding and healing your inner child, it can take time. The wounds we have from childhood are still present and can cause problems in adulthood.
I remember one time a few months ago, my mom and I got into a horrible argument. Hurtful things were said and I became enraged. I began crying uncontrollably, cursing, hitting the walls, and knocking things over. It was like I was a traumatized kid again. My mom tried to blame it on me having bipolar disorder but I knew this wasn’t an episode. I felt like I was back in the dysfunctional household I grew up in.
I knew it was my inner child that had been triggered and that she was crying out. There were things I experienced as a child that I hadn’t healed from, and due to the nature of our argument, it all resurfaced.
The wounds we get when we’re children because of what happened to us can impact us as we get older if we haven’t healed from them. Inner child healing focuses on uncovering and healing the repressed emotions you experienced while growing up.
Signs Your Inner Child Needs Healing
- You’re ashamed of expressing your emotions
- Poor mental health
- Destructive coping mechanisms
- You’re highly reactive
- You struggle with addiction
- You’re a people pleaser and avoid conflict
- You find it hard to trust others
- You struggle to set boundaries
- You fear abandonment
- Most of your relationships are toxic
- You can’t handle criticism
If you’re wondering how to heal your inner child, there is inner work you can do to take care of and heal little you. This work involves going within and exploring your feelings and the parts of you that are wounded.
8 Ways to Heal Your Inner Child
1. Write a letter
Start a dialogue with your inner child. One way you can do this is by writing a letter to them. Say whatever you need to them. Take time to write about specific memories and what they made you feel or what you took away from them.
Offer love and comfort to the younger you and apologize for not knowing what you know now. You can even ask your inner child what they need from you.
2. Embrace your inner child
When is the last time you made time to play? Finding time in your schedule for fun is a great way to connect with your inner child. This could look like getting ice cream, going to a park, getting together with friends, or dancing.
Another way to do inner child work is by giving meditation a try. Meditation allows you to sit with your feelings, become aware of them, and release them. Through meditation, you can begin to heal your wounded inner child.
Meditation can teach you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings as well as change your reaction to situations that trigger you.
This is a powerful guided meditation for inner child healing.
4. Seek therapy
Sometimes our past trauma is so severe that we need extra support to work through it. A therapist can help you work through the trauma you experienced growing up and assist you in finding helpful strategies to heal from it. It’s important to find a therapist who prioritizes inner child work or healing from trauma.
Journaling is a great way to work through your emotions and things that have happened to you. It can help you be aware of patterns you need to change.
You can journal as your inner child. Write about what you were like at a specific age or how you felt when a certain situation occurred. It can be helpful to channel the pain of your inner child.
6. Do root chakra work
Our inner child is connected to the root chakra and it’s where childhood trauma can live. If this chakra is out of balance, the inner child can’t be healed.
You can do root chakra work by grounding. Place your bare feet on the earth. You can also pound or march your feet as well to help ground your root chakra.
Another way to ground yourself is by doing visualization meditation. Grounding the root chakra helps your inner child feel safe and secure.
7. Recite affirmations
Begin to talk to your inner child in a loving way. You can say things like:
- You are loved.
- You are safe.
- I love you.
- You matter.
- Everything is ok.
- I see you. I hear you.
- I give myself permission to heal my inner child.
- I’m proud of you.
- I will always support you.
- It’s ok to cry.
- I’m sorry.
8. Do shadow work
Shadow work is the process of working with your shadow self. Your shadow self is the “dark” side of you. The side that you keep suppressed and ignore. When you do shadow work, you’re doing work to heal from past trauma. This can help you understand yourself better. Shadow work is hard and very emotional because you’re bringing up emotions and memories you’ve buried.
Some of the ways you can do shadow work include:
- Journaling – It can be helpful to use shadow work journal prompts.
- Meditation – Try guided meditations for trauma and healing.
- Practicing self-awareness – If you notice something happens that triggers certain feelings like jealousy or anger, it could be your shadow self trying to squeeze through. Think about where your emotions truly stem from.
Starting the process to heal your inner child can be challenging. You’re recalling feelings and memories that you’ve tried to bury. When you identify your wounds, you can begin to heal so that you’re no longer responding from a wounded place. Healing your inner child helps you learn how to express yourself.
Remember that your feelings are valid. Reconnect with your inner child so that you can move forward in a way that is healthy.