Reconnecting with your inner child is something that not a lot of people know of, and even if some do, they tend to not take it seriously. If you truly and genuinely want to be happy and content in life, reconnecting with your inner child is one of the best things you can do.
Growing up I was always proud of my relative maturity. I simply couldn’t get on with people of my age. I was deep in thought and always reading books. That sort of deep intellect helped me progress in my career, but it didn’t come without a cost.
In my mid-20’s, I realized I’d managed to suppress my inner child. There was a lot of thought and efficiency in my life, but simply no fun and excitement. Absolutely no passion. The reason children are so cheerful and energetic is because everything is new to them. Every experience is a wonderful surprise. They’re simply never disappointed because they never start off with any expectations.
But that phase doesn’t last forever. Most of us lose that inner child as we grow older. Experiences, both good and bad, color our judgment and make us a lot more cynical over time. For me, that experience was a lot worse. I was irritable and paranoid all the time. Thinking objectively about anything had become difficult. Being happy, content, and curious was nearly impossible.
So, this time last year I decided to make a change and try reconnecting with my inner child. Here’s how I did it and how it changed my life:
1. Forgive quickly
Children forget and forgive without a second thought. If two four-year-olds fight over a video game or something, they fight for a day and then get back to playing together the next day. That’s probably why it was so much easier making and keeping friends when you were younger. There’s simply no ego. As we get older we tend to get too caught up in ourselves. We take our lives so seriously that a minor mistake is enough to ruin an entire relationship.
I made an effort to forgive everyone from my past this year and also forgave everyone who caused me pain this year. It’s not easy, of course, but it’s a relieving experience. It now feels like I carry none of my emotional baggage around. Forgiveness is also supposed to be really good for your health.
2. Create freely
Being creative is a natural gift we have when we’re young. You could give a child two sticks and they’d start enacting a scene from a movie they saw. It’s entertaining, relaxing, and a lot of fun. But as adults, we tend to have no time for creativity. Everything you do from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed is driven by results, profits, revenue, and deadlines. You do things that matter and have tangible results.
By taking time out every week to do something completely creative, I freed my mind and dealt with the stress of daily life. I started painting out in the backyard for an hour every weekend. I’m not Picasso by any means, but drawing and painting really became a big part of my life. I look forward to the weekends more than ever before now.
Any creative outlet will do, it doesn’t have to be painting. As long as you can spend hours doing something you love and creating something that makes you happy.
3. Say Yes
Being open-minded is essential. Adults are so busy and cynical that every opportunity is met with a quick ‘no’. You probably have a well-defined sense of self by this stage in life and anything that doesn’t fit into that narrative gets thrown out the window. You’re unwilling to experiment and you’re probably missing out on a lot because of it.