6 Lighthearted Pastimes that Will Delight Your Inner Child
When was the last time you took your inner child on a play date? Do you remember the most recent moment wherein your inner child felt supported, loved, and taken care of?
Our inner children may exist only as a concept, but we must tend to them, giving them the attention they needed at a young age but never received. No parent is perfect, and most of us experienced a time in our childhood when we felt misunderstood or overlooked. That’s where letting your inner child come out to play can make all the difference.
When you make an effort to offer your inner child an adventure, you’re actually working to heal deep pains and past traumas that live inside the body. When your inner child feels properly stimulated and loved, you walk through the world with a sense of confidence and gratitude that continues to raise your vibrations and promote gratitude.
If your inner child is begging for attention, if it’s time to tend to their needs and make sure they feel cared for, keep reading to find out what the inner child is and how to give them the attention they need.
What is the “Inner Child?”
You may think of the inner child as the part of your brain reserved for immature or childish thoughts – but this is not the truth. Your inner child is the “childlike aspect within your unconscious mind.”
According to Psychology Today, your inner child is not only real, but it may also be the cause of any psychological issues that you’ve dealt with in the past.
“We were all once children, and still have that child dwelling within us.”
While children grow up and become adults, the childlike, innocent part of your spirit never completely goes away. Your inner child may be metaphorical or figurative, but they still exist within us, and they continue to seek the love and support that may have been absent in the past.
In fact, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., says that becoming older may not have as much to do with being an adult as we think. “True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child.” He adds that for most adults, “this never happens.”
Society encourages us to grow up, to become responsible, and to let go of the childhood frivolity that we possessed in our younger years. We are told to put our noses to the grindstone, to grin and bear it, to stay motivated and go for our goals – but we are rarely encouraged to take a break and let our inner children come out and play.
It may be this neglect of the inner child that leads to rising depression, anxiety, and stress in our adult lives.
Creating a Safe Space for Your Inner Child
The first thing that your inner child needs to begin to heal is a safe space to express themselves. It’s time to drop the judgment and start embracing your inner child, even when they’re acting up.
Do you remember a time as a kid that you shared a thought, idea, or interest only to be mocked or ridiculed? Whether by an inconsiderate adult or a snotty playmate, we’ve all experienced the pain of being made fun of at one time or another, and while our exterior may show an adult who’s moved on or even repressed these memories, the inner child does not forget that pain.
Let’s say you enjoyed playing with a certain game or toy as a kid, and someone made fun of that interest. Making a safe space for your inner child looks like reminding them that their hobbies and interests are unique and fun, that they are special and cool.
Make a list for your inner child of everything you admire about them:
- Were you a precocious kid?
- Did you have a flair for art or writing as a child?
- Were you emotionally sensitive and receptive to the feelings of others?
- Have you always been connected to animals, saving each stray dog or cat in your formative years?
Write each and every thing you admire about that child down on a piece of paper.
Combat each insult you received with the positive opposite. For instance, if a grown-up told you that you daydream too much, praise your inner child for having such a rich imagination and capacity for visualization.
Now that we’ve mastered the first step, it’s time to start shifting your reality and realizing how special and wonderful you’ve always been. When your inner child starts to feel appreciated and safe, you’ll begin to experience more security and support in your adult life.
Learn more about healing your inner child with: Why & How You Need to Heal Your Inner Child
Don’t Forget to “Treat” Your Inner Child
Most of us learn from a young age how to be hard on ourselves, and when you feel your inner child acting out – which can look like impulsive behavior, emotional outbursts, or even tantrums – you might go into auto-pilot and start chastising that part of yourself.
But repeating the same negative patterns will only make your inner child want to act out even more.
Instead, when you feel your inner child is seeking attention, give it to them. Treat them. Get them a special present; track down that toy that you always wanted as a kid but never got; get yourself a new notebook and a special pen for writing your feelings out; indulge in some ice cream.
While this may seem counterintuitive, being harder on your inner child will only encourage more of a disconnect, more discord between that part of yourself and your conscious mind.
We want the inner child to heal, not rebel further.
6 Lighthearted Pastimes that Will Delight Your Inner Child
As grown-ups, we tend to focus on our responsibilities, the things left on our to-do lists, our chores, our bills, and the uncertainty of the future. But these are all concepts that can cause some serious stress for our inner child, especially if we aren’t doing anything to bring the focus back on the beauty of the present moment.
When was the last time you took a day off to do something silly or fun, just for the heck of it? When was the last time you sat in the middle of all of your favorite creative mediums and let your hands get dirty with finger paint and glitter?
You might feel like there’s too much on your plate to take time for frivolous or childlike activities, but the truth is that engaging in practices that bring you joy will help you feel more motivated and energized, giving you the balance you need to take on future chores and projects.
Try engaging in some of the following activities to bring joy and peace back into your spirit.
1. Recreate Joy from Your Childhood
Was there a certain game that you just loved to play as a kid? Or perhaps you had one special toy that brought you more joy than you can imagine as an adult?
Try recreating certain moments from your childhood that you remember filling you with peace and happiness. You could try watching one of your favorite movies from childhood or rereading your favorite bedtime story.
Reminding yourself and your inner child of the good times you once had will help you both focus on the positive and amplify your appreciation for life.
2. Write a Letter to Your Inner Child
It’s time for your inner child to hear all of the words of support and encouragement they craved in the past. Try writing a loving, heartfelt letter to that child that lives within and seeks guidance.
Tell them that everything will be okay, that they are loved and accepted, and that you’re proud of them.
3.Go Outside & Play
There is nothing quite as exciting as being outside, under the sunshine, enjoying your youth. While you may not be a child any longer, you can still allow your inner child to go outside and play a little.
Go to the nearest park and spend a few moments on the swing, feeling the wind in your hair and the sunlight on your skin. Breathe in the breeze and see if you can pump your legs to get even higher than you ever have.
Or, pack yourself a picnic and enjoy loaves of bread, fruits, and cheeses in the presence of healing Mother Nature.
Halloween is just around the corner! Check out: How to Embrace Your Inner Child this Halloween
4. Bring More Color into Your Life
Remember how it felt to sit down with a coloring book and a brand new pack of crayons? The possibilities were endless, and your imagination was allowed to run wild and free. There are many benefits of coloring, like increased creativity, a calmer disposition, a feeling of overall comfort, and the joy of self-expression.
Grab yourself a new pack of markers or crayons and let your inner child bring more color into your life.
5. Play a Game
Playing games with friends was always as exciting as a kid. While “gaming” for adults may look more like turning on the Xbox than playing tag, playing games will still delight your inner child. Furthermore, playing video games can enhance cognition by stimulating the brain and amplifying social skills.
So, the next time you feel your inner child dancing with energy and excitement, provide stimulation and cognitive benefits by playing a game on your phone or turning on your favorite console.
6. Follow Your Heart
No one knows your inner child as you do. You know what’s in their heart, and you are the foremost expert on their needs and wants. Listen to what your inner child has to say to you and follow your heart accordingly. If you feel a craving for cake, give your inner child a slice. If your inner child is screaming out for a certain movie, put it on and cozy up in your pajamas.
Learning to follow your heart and give your inner child what they need will help them feel more supported and cared for than ever.
Embracing the Inner Child
Your inner child will not simply grow up and move on; it will be with you forever. Embracing this fact will make it easier for you to tend to your inner child and make sure that their needs are taken care of.
When you make the conscious choice to be there for your inner child, to give them the love and care that they need, you’ll soon notice a shift in your adult self – a grown-up with more confidence, joy, and harmony within their spirit.
Embrace your inner child to help the grown-up version of yourself truly shine.
Related article: A Healing Meditation to Fall in Love with Your Soul