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Getting in Touch with Your Inner Child

todayFebruary 24, 2022 102 2 5

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By Autumn McGowan
Web Content Assistant Manager

Do you ever get nostalgic for the smells and comforts of your childhood? 

Maybe your childhood wasn’t as picturesque, and you’d like to go back in time and embrace that younger version of you and tell them it’s going to be okay.

Or perhaps you’ve noticed patterns with your interpersonal relationships that you’d like to try to change.

If you can relate to any of this, it’s a great time to get in touch with your inner child. 

Esther Goldstein, licensed clinical social worker, trauma specialist and founder of Integrative Psychotherapy says that your inner child is “a part of your subconscious that has been picking up messages way before it was able to fully process what was going on (mentally and emotionally). It holds emotions, memories and beliefs from the past as well as hopes and dreams for the future.”

The concept of an “inner child” has roots in Jungian psychology.  Carl Jung theorized that because we have all had a childhood, we all connect to the Child Archetype. The Child Archetype is the protector of innocence and wonder. 

Everyone has an inner child. Think of them as the tiny version of you that craves comfort, attention and love.

Depending on what your childhood looked like during your stages of development, your inner child could be traumatized, relatively healthy or somewhere in the middle. 

If you have great memories of your childhood, getting in touch with your inner child can be a beautiful way to find calm in stressful times. 

If your memories aren’t so great, meeting your inner child can be a great experiment in self-discovery and healing. 

Doing inner child work is all about honoring and protecting that younger version of you as well as taking the lessons from the past and applying them to your everyday life. This can take the form of slowing down when things get stressful and doing something you enjoyed in your younger years or looking at old pictures of yourself and remembering all the progress you’ve made. 

Although working with a therapist is a great way to explore inner child work in a safe environment, it’s not something everyone can easily afford. Luckily, there are ways to acknowledge your inner child that are cheap or completely free. Below are just some of the ways you can get in touch with them. 

Write a Letter

Writing a letter to your past self is a great way to address any hurt you experienced in former years. When writing letters to your childhood self, you can offer words of encouragement and share a little bit about how your life is now. 

Write like it’s an old friend that you haven’t talked to in a while and see what you can discover. 

Revisit Your Joys

Find something that your tiny self would have loved and give yourself permission to enjoy it. 

Buy yourself snacks you loved when you were little and make time for simple pleasures that spark joy like coloring in a coloring book, roller skating or swimming. 

Reparenting Yourself

Another great way to help your inner child is talking to her like you are her mother. This may seem kind of out there, but it really works. Start noticing when you feel sad, angry, hurt or scared and tell yourself that it’s okay to feel these emotions. Give those emotions room to flesh out and talk to yourself nicely throughout the process. 

Give yourself all the advice and love you needed when you were smaller that you maybe didn’t receive from parental figures. 

Getting in touch with your inner child can be an exciting and emotional journey just like any form of self-discovery, but you’ll find it’s well worth it in the end. 

 

Featured Image by Autumn McGowan.

Written by: allisonschroeder13

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