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Our childhood experiences determine our thinking processes, morals and views of ourselves and others. As we grow older, we find out that some things we learned and experienced as children are actually wrong. Unlearning what our brains were wired to know from childhood is a hard thing to do, but can be done. Healing our inner child and putting in the work to guide ourselves through life’s trials and tribulations is a great step towards individual growth. Our young selves deserve some love and support, and so here are some ways to heal your inner child.

Listen to songs that you loved as a child

Remember the moment you heard your all-time favorite song? Listening to nostalgic songs will bring you back to your childhood and the memories you have that are connected with that song. Artists like Justin Bieber, One Direction, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry are just a few examples of popular singers from the 2010s that could be sentimental to you. When listening to these songs, try to remember the feelings you had as a child and how you related to the song at the time!

Watch your favorite childhood movies and tv shows

Did you ever have a favorite movie as a child that you could rewatch over and over again? As children, we were encapsulated by animated movies and always remembered the colors, characters, and visual aspects of the movie. When you rewatch that movie as you get older, let yourself feel the same emotions you felt when you were younger.

Invest in an emotional support squishmallow

It may seem like only children can benefit from having a stuffed animal, but studies show that many adults can benefit from having stuffed animals as well! When we feel distressed or down, we could use a plush animal to comfort us and make us feel better which is the same thing our younger selves would have done. This seems a bit silly to do for some people, but letting yourself be vulnerable is rewarding in this way.

Look through old childhood photos

Looking at pictures of your younger self can help you visualize your life as a child. The clothing you used to wear, how your hair used to look, and your facial expressions can bring you back to that time. Try to visualize your child self in that moment and how you were feeling. Think through and remember that feeling of being a child where the picture was taken. Reflect on your feelings, whether you feel unsafe, sad, excited, embarrassed, angry, or joyous. Try to comfort your younger self through processing those feelings and understanding how and why you felt that way.

Journal about your memories

Be honest with yourself about your experiences as a child that have affected you and write them down! You may not realize how much it has impacted who you are today. When you work through and comfort your inner child when you recollect an uncomfortable experience, you are able to move on from that in a healthier way. Validate the feelings you had when you were young and understand why you felt that way. Writing about our childhood experiences helps us process them and look back at the experience lightheartedly.

Inner Child Work is difficult for many to go through, but you reap the rewards in the end. Healing your inner child will help you attract more fulfilling relationships, friendships, and happiness as a whole. When we face our childhood traumas and allow ourselves to feel that raw emotion, we process these emotions as an adult with the tools we need to grow and learn from this in a healthy way. Everyone can benefit from inner child work and healing from our traumas starts from the inside of ourselves and the early experiences in our lives.

Kailyn Coleman

Illinois State '23

Hey! My name is Kailyn. I am a Junior at Illinois State and I am majoring in Speech Language Pathology! I love to meet new people, travel, and visit local small businesses :)
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