Healing Your Inner Child When You Feel Over-Sensitive

A photo of a duck family basking in the sun on a reservoir in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with a couple ducks swimming on their own. Heal your inner child by being playful like these ducks.
Duck family on a log, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Copyright © 2021 Lee Spirit

You may be well past childhood, but there is always a child within us, deep down there somewhere! This inner child may be happy, playful, and joyful. Or perhaps he is screaming inside, with painful wounds from the past. Maybe you are a bit of both! Whatever the case may be, healing your inner child, even during adulthood, can help you be authentic and successful on this journey called life!

My inner child likes to play, do things she loves, discover new things, and explore new territory. She is also sometimes over-sensitive, and past programming has resurfaced in adult life in other ways!

Lessons From Childhood

This photo is from Calgary, Alberta’s reservoir, where I often play. I love this duck family on a log! I might be the stray duck child, doing her own thing out there on the water, never really conforming to what others are doing! Which duck are you?

Our families often shape who we are from infancy and childhood. Our lessons learned, and our experiences may affect who we become and how we act in the world. If we’re fortunate, we will learn from this, and become our own person. On the other hand, we may find ourselves lost, and never really discovering who we really are.

If you’re lucky enough to have had a good, healthy upbringing, you may remember the laughter, fun, love, and joy of childhood. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t so lucky, and have suffered childhood trauma, such as emotional neglect or abuse. Maybe you were raised in a family of alcoholics or drug abusers. Perhaps your parents were over-protective, or overly authoritarian and stern. This may affect your development, such that in adulthood you may feel overly shy, insecure, afraid of relationships, angry, or unable to express your true voice.

Your unfortunate, hard lessons from childhood may be buried down deep as a way to protect yourself from this pain and further wounding. Healing your inner child then becomes a very difficult task because you’ve cut off your access to those difficult feelings and emotions. This may result in strained relationships, because you have a strained relationship with yourself.

Healing Your Inner Child Step-By-Step

So how can we heal this past programming so that we can be loving, kind, compassionate, and authentic individuals? How do we bring back the pure joy, creativity, and enthusiasm of childhood? Learning to let go of past traumas will surely bring us the inner peace we so desire. Consider following these steps when you’re feeling over-sensitive:

  1. Acknowledge and Accept – The first step in healing your inner child is simply to acknowledge that you have an inner child that has some wounds that are now resurfacing in adulthood. If you often feel ignored, abandoned, or rejected, perhaps you need to revisit your past to moments when you felt that way. Who was present or absent? How did it make you feel? Where were you? What happened? This can bring up some painful memories, but this is how you start the healing process. Acknowledge your past painful moments or experiences. They may be very subtle, or they may be quite powerful. Remember your inner child is not a figment of your imagination. That child is very real! It’s you! Acknowledge and accept what has hurt you to begin healing.
  2. How Does Your Inner Child Feel? – Once you’ve acknowledged and accepted that you have this hurting, upset inner child, it’s time to notice what the child is saying. Listen carefully by paying attention to the sensations in your physical body. Where does it hurt? Do you hold tightness in your chest when you think of something your mother or father said or did? This is telling you that your heart hurts because of that situation. Allow yourself to feel that pain. Perhaps you feel guilty, ashamed, angry, resentful, or anxious. Trace your feelings back to specific childhood moments, and then notice how similar situations in your adult life make you feel the same way. It does require some inner work and time to go through painful past traumas, but working through it rather than shoving it down or away is the path to healing your inner child.
  3. Write It Down – You may not consider yourself to be a good writer, but it’s a very helpful exercise to start journalling or writing a letter to get your feelings out, and bring clarity to the situations that caused you pain and suffering. I highly recommend the book, “Conversations With God”, by Neale Donald Walsch. He sits down and has a conversation with “God” about what he needs answers to, what doesn’t make sense, or how he sees the world. All it took was for him to write the question, and the answer flowed out his pen in just the right moments. You may not believe that the answers came from “God”, but always know that the answers come from the guru within you! Try that too, or write a letter to yourself, or as if you were sending it to a dear friend. You may write it to the authority figure who caused some distress. Getting this much needed clarity will certainly help with healing your inner child. You may get a fresh perspective, and ways you feel or behave may start to make a lot more sense.
  4. Practice Meditation and Yoga – One way to access your inner child is by coming into a neutral mind space. I can’t stress enough the importance of becoming mindful in our daily lives. My preferred way, as you know, is being outside in nature amongst the trees, or by the lakeside, rivers, oceans, and streams. Nature offers us a healthy space to breathe deeply and get in touch with our true souls. It’s here that we can re-discover ourselves, get in touch with our hearts, and dissolve our stress and anxiety. When we are self-aware, we know what situations cause unhealthy reactions and habits. From here, we can change directions into something more positive and healthy. Knowing our triggers through a regular practice of yoga and meditation can keep us better able to adjust our reactions accordingly. We learn to respond rather than react. Repressed emotions will do us more harm than good. Meditation and yoga practices will help express those in healthy ways. When you do yoga, you’ll be working things out on your yoga mat. How you do yoga is how you do life!
  5. Self-Love and Forgiveness – You may find yourself in tears going through this step-by-step process that brings up painful past memories and emotions. It’s important to allow yourself to feel what you feel, rather than pushing it down or away as if feelings are bad, and you must stay happy and positive. Pushing things down and away will bring them back with greater force. So allow your tears, and know that is okay to feel pain, and it’s a part of your healing process. Imagine that you are giving your inner child the same love you would give your own child. You wouldn’t scold them, you would comfort and console them. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself the big, warm hug you need! Treat yourself with love, compassion, and kindness. Forgive those who have hurt you, and forgive yourself for whatever you feel needs forgiveness.
  6. Be Playful and Have Fun! – Once you’ve gone back to your childhood and relived the pain, acknowledged, and accepted things as they are, written a letter to your inner child, meditated and practiced yoga, and loved and forgiven yourself, it’s time for some serious fun! You’re allowed to be playful as an adult, and treat yourself! Go for that iced latte, ice-cream cone, swing on a swing, or jump into a lake! Bring back these carefree days! Laugh, play games, and have some fun with friends! Go on a road trip! Remember to not take life so seriously just because you’re an adult!

Read more here on Healing Your Inner Child by Living In The Now With Kindness and Compassion.

Seek Assistance If/When You Need It

It can be a quite tough if you find yourself unable to shake the wounds of the past. You may have been through something very traumatic and painful, and feel you’ve tried everything to release these past wounds, but they keep their grip on you. In this case, it’s important to seek outside help if and when you need it. If talking to friends or loved ones doesn’t help, and you’ve tried everything mentioned above and more, and you’re still stuck, there are resources available to you. There are many free resources, or you may try seeing a professional who can help you one-on-one in a safe space. You don’t have to stay stuck for the rest of your days, but in order to be helped, you must genuinely want to be helped.

When your inner child is feeling over-sensitive, it’s time to take a deeper look at where these feelings originate from. Acknowledge and accept that you have an inner child, examine your reactions, feelings, and emotions by writing them down and noticing patterns and habits. Practice yoga and meditation to get clarity on why you feel the way you do. Love yourself with kindness and compassion. Be playful and have fun! You will feel so much better with these tips! Take care!

Lee Spirit is an avid outdoors adventurer with a love for nature, photography, health & fitness, wellness, and spirituality. She helps those who suffer from anxiety & negative thinking to become healthier in mind-body-spirit. Her own personal journey has led her to the  study and practice of mindfulness, health, wellness, yoga, spirituality, sound healing, meditation, and personal development for over 20 years. Get mindfulness, meditation, and personal development tips in her Free Natural Mind Healing Report.

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