Do you remember the last time you laughed your heart out, had an adventure, ran around the park barefoot? If not, it’s time to embrace your inner child.
Acting like a child may seem frivolous and unnecessary for our day-to-day life, but it can often be the cornerstone of our health, happiness, and well-being.
By allowing yourself to indulge in childish behavior, forget about adult responsibilities, or look at the world with child’s eyes, you can repair and elevate yourself from deep insecurities, problems or doubts. That is why reconnecting with your inner child is crucial for a happier life.
Keep reading to find out how you can be happier by taking the advice of your inner child.
What is an inner child?
This is going to sound a little wacky, but inside all of us is a four or five-year-old just busting to get their sticky mitts on your life. Most likely, they’ll personify you at that age, or they might be an ‘ideal’ child your mind has come up with that is free from unhappiness, guilt or judgment.
An easy way to put this into real terms is to imagine that in your brain you have two people: one adult and one child. The adult sits at a mahogany desk surrounded by spreadsheets, a calculator, paperwork and a ton of pro and con lists.
Meanwhile, the child takes up command in the corner of your brain at a jungle gym. They spend their days thinking up new and creative ways to have fun and be happy.
The control room: Adult vs. child
Now in the hierarchy of your brain, the adult is in charge. In fact, the adult is likely you, that is, how you act and behave in the real world.
When the adult tells the child to be quiet or stop making so much noise, the child does what they are told. When the adult ignores creative and wild suggestions from the child, the child learns that their wisdom and advice is not wanted or needed.
In many cases, this means that your inner child and your adult live in disharmony. Your inner adult has to take care of your daily responsibilities and chores like bills, assignments, work presentations and budgeting. Which is fine; we can’t all live in pillow forts for our entire lives.
But if your inner child, who is designed to offer you creativity, inspiration, insight, and happiness, is stifled in any way then conflict and tension arise inside of you.
Your inner adult completely takes charge and overrules your inner child. As a result, you can be left feeling dull, lifeless and overwhelmed by your responsibilities as well as feel low, unenthused and unhappy.
This is how many adults are walking around today. They have ignored and belittled their inner child for so long that they can’t see the benefits of taking their inner child’s advice. And more to the point, the inner child has stopped offering any.
Benefits of listening to your inner child
Okay, so we all know that life can be hard. It’s not designed to be easy. There are challenges, obstacles, and difficulties each and every day of our life. But overcoming these obstacles is the key to being happy.
This is where your inner child comes in. While listening to your inner adult might get you a nice job, a cozy corner office and a responsible, mature relationship, it won’t always lead you in the right direction to being content and happy.
Instead, an inner child offers the following:
An opportunity to invite creativity into your life. Remember how you used to dream up stories, songs and new games when you were a kid? Well, who says that this creative thinking has to stop once you reach a certain age? Invite it back in. Not only will you find out of the box solutions to your problems, but you’ll also have more fun
A chance to view life with a clear, judgment-free lens
The addition of playfulness and fun into your life
The ability to forgive and forget
The return of hope and dreams
An unfettered insight into the world
An openness to new relationships and experiences
Greater health as you feel less stressed
Improved fitness as you engage in more physical activity
How to embrace your inner child
If you’re convinced that reconnecting with your inner child is a compulsory component of your life moving forward then we have some tips you can follow to get the connection flowing again.
Tip 1: WWMICD
Whenever you find yourself faced with a situation that makes you feel uncertain, stressed, angry or uneasy just ask yourself: “What would my inner child do?” Normally, your inner child will have a great idea to help you approach difficult situations with an open mind, open heart, and open soul. This will help you to feel less stressed and anxious and will also promote maximum problem solving.
Note: If your inner child is throwing a tantrum and urging you to toss an ice-cream in someone’s face, it’s probably a good idea to give him/her a cookie and put them in the time-out corner until you work out what to do.
Tip 2: Give yourself permission to play
What makes a child happier than anything else? The opportunity to play and explore, of course. When you’re an adult, it’s all about making money, finding a work/life balance and progressing. Which is why it’s so important for us to give ourselves permission to take time out to play.
We all need to unwind, relax and let go of our daily frustrations. And what better way to do it than to go for a bike ride in the park, hula hoop with a girlfriend or go ice-skating on the weekend? Play is a vital and important part of life – make time for it.
Tip 3: Take care of your inner child
Just like toddlers need adequate sleep, nutrition, and interaction to keep them healthy and happy, your inner child needs to be taken care of in much the same way. You can’t expect them to thrive if you don’t provide an environment in which they can do so.
To take care of your inner child, make sure you’re getting enough rest and you are eating healthy. You should also make time each day to deliberately be creative and let your inner child shine. Offer them new things to learn, do and see and you will have a happy inner child and a happy life.
Tip 4: Be apologetically you
Have you ever had to bite back a remark or tone down your personality because you thought the people around you wouldn’t accept you as you are?
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to dim their own inner lights so it doesn’t shine in other people’s eyes. But all this is really doing is drawing you away from the true and authentic you.
So anytime you get the feeling that someone around you might not like what you’re about to say or do, let your inner child take over. At the very worst, you’ll be right (they won’t like it) but at least you’re being true to yourself.
Tip 5: Encouragement
And last but definitely not least, encourage and support your inner child at all times. Sure, there will be the odd occasion when your inner child doesn’t have anything valuable to add (and they’re acting quite childishly). There will also be times when your inner adult needs to take control of a situation.
But neither of these moments diminishes the importance of your inner child. Your inner child has a specific task: to help you be more creative, innovative, happy, and free. So let them loose in this arena and take their advice (but not always follow it) willingly on all other occasions.
Now it’s up to you! Go out and embrace your inner child and then let us know what happens by posting a comment.