It’s no surprise that many women over 50 are still battling demons from past trauma. I know I sometimes do. Our inner child can be very mean, a bully if you will, and wreak havoc in our lives. Today I want to share 15 inner child healing exercises to help you deal with her and heal your inner child.
Let me get personal here for a minute or two.
I suffered through a lot of childhood trauma and have spent the last ten years of my adult life doing inner child work. I was physically abused by my parents, emotionally neglected, and basically raised in an unloving household.
We did not all have a happy childhood.
Your Inner Child Needs Healing
I don’t think people realize how damaging, or should I say, how long the damage continues on in life from traumatic experiences. The healing process never ends.
You will always have triggers. It’s how you manage them that will make or break you. Healing the wounded child is the first step in recovery.
So let’s talk a bit about that little child who is inside of you
- where she came from,
- why she’s still there and
- what exactly she needs from you
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What Does My Inner Child Mean?
It’s important first to understand your inner child, who she is, and what she wants. To be honest, I didn’t even know what this term meant.
So what does the term ‘my inner child’ even mean?
We all have past experiences (childhood memories), some good, some not so good. Your own inner child holds on to all these childhood experiences and then randomly offers them back to you, usually at inappropriate times.
Your inner child is the unhealed child you once were, still hurt and angry, scared and confused.
Your Inner Child is Suffering
So that little child wants to remind you that she is still suffering from emotional pain and wants to make sure you don’t forget that.
That’s the easiest and most comprehensible way I can explain your inner child. She’s wounded, she’s having a hard time, and she needs you.
Healing your inner child will require a lot of patience, hard work and love from you.
What Does My Wounded Inner Child Need From Me?
While we all would love this small child just to be playful and colour, such is not the case. Your inner child feels pain, fear, loneliness, and confusion; she desperately needs emotional support and unconditional love.
The longer you continue to ignore her, the more you will suffer. Your mental health will suffer a lot, and it will be tough for you to find and maintain a healthy relationship.
She needs structure, love, to be able to trust, boundaries, and compassion. She needs you to take control and let her know everything will be okay.
Understand Your Wounded Inner Child
Your wounded child needs you to be the adult, take control, let her know she’s safe, but most importantly, she wants you to heal.
Once you understand your wounded inner child it will be a little bit easier for you to help her and take control of her. Remember, she’s just a lost, scared child, hurt and angry.
The inner child healing exercises I will share with you today will help you on your healing journey.
Why You Need to Heal Your Inner Child
She’s in control of your life right now. She holds the cards and calls all the shots. Not you. Her. You regain control of your life when you take the time to heal your inner child.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
If you don’t take the necessary time to do the inner child exercises, you will continue to hurt and feel emotional pain. You will have uncontrolled triggers.
Not only that, you will continue to attract the wrong partners and battle demons constantly. That’s no way to live.
Where Do I Start Healing My Inner Child?
That is a good question and a tough answer. You have to start somewhere, right? I always tell clients just to pick a day sometime in the near future and decide that’s the day you will commit to doing your inner child healing.
I suggest blocking it off in your calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment. You wouldn’t miss a visit with your doc, so make this appointment just as important.
Because it is important. Your mental health is important.
What Happens When You Heal Your Inner Child?
First of all, I’m not here to tell you that your life will be perfect because that would be a lie. However, I will tell you that you will be able to handle uncomfortable situations and triggers more effectively.
As triggers arise, you won’t be so prone to act in haste and anger. You will most likely be calm and very level-headed, almost mature about if you will.
You will also have more self-respect, self-love, and self-confidence.
15 Inner Child Healing Exercises
I believe these powerful inner child healing exercises will help you understand your inner child on a deeper level and also help you deal with, and heal from, the trauma so you can improve personal relationships and finally begin to enjoy life experiences without the triggers.
1 Acknowledge Her
Please don’t ignore her or brush her under the rug. She doesn’t show up for no reason. In case you haven’t noticed, triggers happen when we have unresolved or unhealed trauma.
Look, I get that it’s a lot of hard work to deal with and heal from trauma, but it’s so necessary if you want to live a life free of emotional pain. Sorry. You need to heal.
Give her a name – she doesn’t have to have the same name as you and give her her own identity. Make her feel heard and special.
Identify your inner child’s beliefs, fears, and emotional needs. Honestly, I think this alone is the most powerful of the inner child healing exercises.
2 Talk to Her
She’s shown up for a reason. Find out why. Have an open and honest conversation with her. You just might be surprised by what you hear if you listen carefully.
The best way to do that is to quiet your mind and call her by name. Greet her, let her know you see her, hear her, and you’re here for her right now.
Maybe ask her the following questions:
- What’s wrong?
- Are you sad/angry/hurt/confused/etc.?
- What do you want to do right now?
- Do you need love/attention or a chat?
Listen carefully to her answers. This inner child healing exercise will bring you closer to her.
3 Listen Carefully
I mean, really listen. I know you probably don’t want to hear all the answers, and you may even get defensive or be in denial, but you won’t heal your inner child wounds if you are too stubborn to face them.
Do your adult self a favor. Listen.
If you have trouble hearing the first time, just take a deep breath and try again in a little while. You’ll eventually hear her.
4 Be a Loving Parent
She’s the child, you’re the parent. What did you need as a child? Love, attention, affection, support, encouragement. Guess what? She needs all that too.
When she shows up, be a loving parent for her. Nurture your child! Calm her anxiety and fear. Calm her down if she’s angry. Just be there for her.
You need to reparent your inner child. I hope that makes sense.
5 Write it Out
Take a few minutes to write out what you heard her tell you. Keep in mind, chances are, you will be writing out some pretty icky childhood wounds. Obviously, they haven’t been healed yet.
What I did was write out all the trauma, go through each experience, and name all the people involved and, this is where it gets hard but good, I would go back to that time, feel the feels, and tell myself that this person was hurt themselves and hurt people hurt people.
What they did to me had absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with the unhealed part of them.
I then took some time to forgive them and send love, sending that trauma on its way. This is probably one of the hardest inner child healing exercises, but it has to be done.
6 Deal With Your Trauma
This is the hard part because you need to re-live what you went through 30 or 40 years ago (or however many years ago it was). This part is ugly, messy, and exhausting but so rewarding when you’re done.
Because of all the trauma I suffered, I deal with the following:
- low self-esteem
- low self-confidence/ no self-worth
- trust issues
- attract toxic people
It wasn’t until I started digging deep and dealing with (and healing from) all those ugly wounds that things finally changed for the better.
7 Breath Work
I don’t know about you, but when I get a trigger from my past, I also get a little anxious and feel like I’m having a panic attack, and those suck!!!
You might really like this video on how to deal with panic attacks. It’s from my YouTube channel, so please don’t forget to hit subscribe while you’re there.
Anyway, next time you have a trigger and feel an anxiety attack coming on, sit down and do some breathing work. Don’t hyperventilate! Just nice easy breathing to calm yourself down. I love this as one of the inner child healing exercises because it really grounds you and brings you to the present moment.
I know, I know, meditation is hard, but girl, lemme tell you, it’s so good!!! A million guided meditations are online, specifically inner child healing exercises. Find them. Listen to them. Feel them in your heart and soul.
Meditating doesn’t have to be long and drawn out and take hours and hours. You can meditate even for 5 or 10 minutes if you can quiet your mind long enough to listen to it.
Meditation is such a powerful tool when it comes to healing, and I wish more people would take the time to do it.
9 Spend Time With Close Friends and Family Members
I don’t mean casual time, I mean spending time with people who you can talk to, who understand you, understand what you’re going through, and who can offer support and maybe even encouragement.
It really does help to talk out our feelings with people we love and trust. Their perspective can help us see things differently, too!
Chances are, your family members went through the same thing you did and can offer more emotional support, which is super important to your healing. You can both do some inner child healing exercises together and grow at the same time!
10 Have a Self Care – Self Love Day
When was the last time you were really nice and loving to yourself? When was the last time you treated yourself to something nice, took yourself out on a date, bought yourself some lovely flowers, or whatever?
When was the last time you did any of that?
Take a day just for you and your inner child, and play, have fun, have a ‘we/me day,’ and fall in love with yourself. A playdate, if you will!
11 Write Yourself a Love Letter
You read that right, write yourself a love letter and then read it back to yourself when you’re done. Your unconscious mind will take it all in and remember it.
I am a huge fan of writing; I think it’s very therapeutic and one of the more powerful ways to heal any trauma.
It’s a great way to release all that built-up toxic stuff buried deep inside of us. If we don’t talk about or write about all the things that are bottled up inside of us, they will just grow and fester and eat away at us.
Ick. Get it out!!! As one of the inner child healing exercises, I have to be honest, this is my favourite one.
12 Write Your Inner Child a Love Letter
Did I tell you how much I love writing? Write that little girl a love letter. Remind her how amazing and beautiful, and awesome she is. Pour love all over that piece of paper!
You’ve taken the time to acknowledge her, name her, talk to her, and listen to her, but did you reassure her of your love?
This is one of those inner child healing exercises that will probably make you cry. A lot. Keep the tissues close by when you do this.
13 Get Out in Nature
Go for a walk, a bike ride, a swim, hiking, blueberry picking, sit by a pond and feed swans or chase butterflies. Pick something and get outside.
We all already know how great fresh air is to clear our minds and even boost our serotonin – the feel-good part of your brain.
Tell your inner child you guys are going out, ask her where she wants to go, and listen. And then go there. Trust me, you’ll love this.
I think this is one of the fun inner child healing exercises. You get to go outside, have fun, and be a child yourself!
14 It’s Ok to Cry
We already know bottling stuff up is terrible, and I’ve also given you a few different methods to let it all out, but I forgot one: crying.
It’s no secret that crying, just like writing, is very therapeutic.
I say it’s like all the toxicity comes out in our tears, leaving us fresh and invigorated. Remember how you felt after you had a good cry? I always feel so darn good!
So cry. Have a good bawl fest. This is one of the inner child healing exercises that is so freeing. So liberating. So damn therapeutic.
15 Worksheets and Journal Prompts
I found this really fantastic resource for you. I hope it helps you. I’m also a big fan of worksheets and journal prompts. Doing inner child healing exercises using this method, even once a week, is really helpful.
Click here to check out this free inner child worksheet for adults.
What Type of Therapy Heals Inner Child?
In a perfect world, all the inner-child healing exercises I shared with you would work, but unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.
Some of us have such a terribly wounded inner child that these simple exercises might not be enough.
Here are a few therapies that will help heal an inner child:
- Trauma Therapy
- Internal Family Systems
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Art Therapy
Please speak to your doctor if you feel you need professional help to deal with and heal your inner child. They should be able to refer to a specialist.
Working on Your Inner Child Never Ends
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this work will never end. There will always be triggers, flashbacks, tense moments, and arguments with loved ones. Life is not perfect.
It’s essential to go back to what you learned about healing your inner child and practice those steps when you are in a situation where you feel a little out of control.
Final Thoughts on Inner Child Healing Exercises
I hope you enjoyed this article and all the inner child healing exercises I shared with you. I truly sincerely hope it helps you on your healing journey. Healing is brutal, ugly, and can feel very lonely sometimes but remember you’re not alone.
You can reach out to friends or family or even me if you want to.
Remember, you’re worth it. You deserve to live a happy life. And so does your inner child!
xo iva xo