Over the past few decades, the average life expediency has increased. Despite this good news, researchers say that stress-related problems which lead to mental health problems are on the increase. Understanding what causes stress and how to minimize it is critical. Could reconnecting your inner child help bring back the joy?
Studies suggest there could be valuable benefits of learning about the phenomenon of the inner child concerning your health and your sense of well-being. What you learned during your childhood could be significantly helpful to you as an adult. Reconnecting to your inner child as an adult may be beneficial to find healing, restore joy in your life, and help you find purpose.
The summary of the findings showed that the inner child’s phenomenon is: Gaining useful life lessons through childhood experiences are made up of four themes: sharing relationships, playing to heal, being strong or frail, and supporting the next generation.
Reconnecting with your inner child can restore your happiness
Remember the playful days of your childhood? Restoring that feeling can make you happy again.
1 – Learn practical life lessons by reconnecting with your inner child
Researchers say that useful life lessons during childhood help you adapt as an adult. In essence, your inner child affects your adult decisions and view of life.
2 – Relationships
Strong relationships with family and friends affect you as an adult. Caring for siblings or doing things together as a family affects how you raise your children. Experiencing openness with peers as a kid builds your sense of feeling secure and safe. Your inner child experiences shape how you view your family and friends into adulthood. Many friendships last a lifetime, and you learn to treat others well from your younger self experiences.
3 – Mental health
Your life journey is how you view your life and what you learn about life from your past experiences. This is what people describe as their inner child. Certain strengths and knowledge you carry into adulthood contribute to your inner child. Incidents and events during childhood emphasize the impact of your inner child, either promoting or hindering your health and sense of well-being.
4 – The importance of play
Reading, make-believe play, and fun playtimes help shape your curiosity and desire to learn. Playing outdoors in nature and with animals provides positive mental health experiences in the inner child. Many participants experienced this as a child today as adults love athletics and being outside. Social competence increases when, as a kid, you take part in sports. You learn how to decide, prioritize and work together as a team. Restoring your inner child could mean joining a sports team to have fun. Revisiting your childhood experiences could regain your sense of joy and laughter.
5 – Spiritual health increases by reconnecting with your inner child
Researchers found a significant quality added to your life when you find meaning and purpose because human beings are a combination of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Experiencing things like these as a child will enhance your spiritual health.
- Inner peace
Your view of the world affects your healthy choices as an adult. Making sound decisions in your everyday life and making sense of it promotes joy and overall well-being. Faith in God, studies show, can enhance your understanding of purpose and meaning in life.
6 – Being strong
Childhood experiences result in life lessons about how to handle situations in adulthood. Learning how to stand up for your beliefs and setting barriers is one way to restore your inner child as an adult. When you were younger, you learned independence and self-confidence during periods of freedom where you had to work things out yourself.
As a child, you had curiosity and weren’t afraid of conflicts. You can learn from this childlike view of life, allow yourself to be curious again, and resist the urge to give in to fear when things are difficult.
7 – Being frail
Perhaps you remember being left alone, separated from your parents. These traumatic experiences can breed insecurities and separation anxiety struggles that last into your adulthood. Looking at these childhood experiences is helps you understand today’s struggles and how to react to them.
You may feel frail because of your reaction to stressful life situations. Connecting to your inner child experiences helps you figure out how to deal with these seeming “frailties.” Learn the lessons of your inner child and restore your joy.
8 – Social lessons
Handing conflicts in your relationships as a child can affect you as an adult. Perhaps you didn’t handle it well when you were younger, so today, for instance, you can’t stand up for yourself at work. Of course, negative experiences can make you stronger. Perhaps you didn’t get recognized for things you did as a kid, so today, you’re more empathetic towards others who experience the same thing. You understand what it’s like when someone overlooks you.
Reconnecting with your inner child helps you learn valuable lessons as an adult and overcome negatives that still hinder you. Maybe you learned to solve conflicts with your friends by working out disagreements and arguments. Sometimes kids march home if they don’t get what they want, so you learned that not everyone likes to work together to solve problems. Playing with other kids teaches you to be less rigid and more flexible in your friendships.
How reconnecting with your inner child can teach you life lessons as an adult
Useful studies that illustrate your inner child experiences and their impact include:
- Good relationships with your parents, siblings, and friends help you learn confidence and how to believe in yourself. You understand social dimensions and well-being.
- Challenging childhood experiences help you understand how to be more kind and empathetic towards others.
- Role-play and make-believe playing along with reading and listening to stories, showed you the existence of your inner child and helped you have a foundation of awe and curiosity later in life.
You aren’t a victim of your inner child.
Perhaps you had a terrible childhood with parents who failed you. Remember, you don’t need to be held captive by your history. To see yourself as limited to your past inner child’s experiences is discouraging and be unhelpful. Many people find help and healing by trusting in God. Well-known author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada says in her foreword to Vaneetha Rendall Risner’s book, The Scars That Have Shaped Me,
Most people think that living with quadriplegia would be utterly overwhelming. And they’re right. It is. Shortly after I broke my neck, I met a young man in rehab who told me he had been in a wheelchair for eight years. I gulped, pushing down the panic in my throat. To me, eight weeks of paralysis seemed impossible. But eight years?! It was unimaginable to me, a spinal-cord injured teenager who still retched at the thought of living life sitting down. But that was decades ago. I can hardly believe I’ve been living without use of my hands or legs for almost 50 years. I still look back and wonder, how did I make it to this point? And how have I done it, for the most part, with a smile? Even after all this time, total paralysis still seems impossible.
But with God all things are possible. And whenever I try to explain how I have “arrived” at this point, I shake my head in amazement. It has everything to do with God and his grace that sustains—not just over the long haul, but grace given in tiny moments, like stepping-stones leading you from one tick of the clock to the next. And the beauty of God’s grace is that it squeezes those hard moments together, eclipsing the years until one day you look over your shoulder and all you see is five decades of God at work.
Try as you may, you cannot recall the horror of it all— grace softens the edges of past pains, choosing only the highlights of eternal importance. What you are left with is peace that’s profound, joy that’s unshakable, and faith that is ironclad. It is the hard but beautiful stuff of makes your life.
Final thoughts on how reconnecting with your inner child can bring joy back to life.
You can have fun as an adult reconnecting with your inner child. Your past experiences teach you many lessons. Your younger self experiences shape how you view the world as an adult. These lessons may include trust, friendship, independence, and being more empathetic towards others.
As you reconnect with the things that shaped you as your younger self, you may find joy, curiosity, and awe. Of course, it’s important to remember that you’re not a victim of your history as a child. Perhaps your growing-up years were full of heartache and neglect. It’s good to know that your identity isn’t wrapped up in these things.
Many people find help in trusting God to bring healing and wholeness into their lives even in the most challenging circumstances.