Our inner child is the part of us that holds on to the wonder, innocence, and creativity of life. Sadly, trauma experienced during our formative years has wounded the inner child for many of us.

If you regularly experience bouts of emotional outbursts, have trouble trusting others, feel ashamed when expressing emotions, or have an unshakeable fear of abandonment, it’s likely your younger self has been hurt by past trauma.

When we experience emotional trauma, regardless of intensity, some of us won’t have the tools to process, heal, and move on. As a result, our inner child becomes mired in the past. This often manifests as unhealthy behavioral and emotional patterns during adulthood. These unhealthy responses are the barriers we create to protect ourselves from further harm.

Fortunately, we can give ourselves permission to heal by re-connecting with our inner child, that represents the most vulnerable and sensitive parts of our character. The four exercises listed below are an excellent way to get started with reconnecting to your inner child.

1. Awaken Your Inner Child Through Play

Play is a powerful tool for awakening your inner child. As adults, we are often weighed down with work and family commitments that don’t leave much time for letting loose and exploring our inner selves.

Finding time for activities that unleash your creativity and self-expression that you will enjoy is critical to healing. Try listening to some fun music, dancing, or playing a childhood game.

2. Listen to Your Feelings

Our inner selves communicate through feelings, which is a good reason to stay in tune with your emotions. When we experience challenging emotions, those feelings become a narrative that can reveal our inner child’s deepest insecurities.

If you notice you are about to have an unreasonable reaction to a situation, take a deep breath and focus on your feelings. Recognize your emotions without judgement. Once you are calmer, consider better ways to resolve the conflict so the situation doesn’t get even more heated.

3. Write a Letter to Your Younger Self

It’s surprising how writing a letter to your inner child can open the pathway to reconnecting with yourself. You may want to give it a try. Of course, it may feel weird at first, but once you start writing, you may find that you have a lot to say.

You could write about how proud you are of the person your inner child has become, even though the journey has been difficult. Or craft a letter saying how sorry you are that they went through all that trauma, but they still have so much to look forward to in life. Consider your younger self like a pen pal you lost touch with until now.

4. Get Professional Trauma Treatment from a Trained Therapist

It can be challenging to heal the scars that cover the wounds of a dysfunctional childhood. The above tips can help you begin to reconnect with your inner child and restore some of the wonder of life.

In addition, a trauma therapist can assist your in navigating the healing process more easily. With professional guidance, you can truly heal the emotional wounds of the past so that you can have a happier, more balanced life.

For more information about healing your inner child, visit this page: Trauma Treatment