Healing Your Inner Child With Journal Prompts
In psychology, the term ‘inner child’ means that we all have a childlike side to our personality that is hidden in our subconscious mind. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a little child inside of you, but this side of you usually takes over when you are faced with a challenge.
Table Of Contents
- Why Is Inner Child Work Important?
- The 4 Basic Human Needs
- Question Your Own Behavior
- Journal Prompts For Inner Child Healing
- How To Start Journaling To Heal Your Inner Child
- 20 Journal Prompts For Healing Your Inner Child
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The inner child hides all of the things you were taught as a child by parents, teachers and other adults, and the repressed emotions that came with these things especially if they were things, you were taught not to feel if you wanted to be loved.
It reflects the child you once were in both your positive and negative aspects. For example, repressed emotions and unmet needs as a child, as well as childlike innocence like creativity and joy that are still waiting within you.
Why Is Inner Child Work Important?
Inner child work is important for healing because it can allow you to discover the root causes of your issues in adulthood. It can also help with the following:
- Release repressed emotions and self-limiting beliefs which are holding you back from achieving your full potential
- Helps you to recognise unmet needs from childhood
- Assists you to solve any unhelpful patterns so you can move forward
- Can help you identify your creativity
- Improves your self-care and helps you to practice self-love
In addition to hereditary factors, imprints from our childhood also determine our nature and our self-esteem. The period up to elementary school age, in particular, can have a great impact on our personality. There are positive experiences that make us resilient adults, but also negative ones that cause conflicts years later: attachment problems, for example, stress, fears about the future.
The 4 Basic Human Needs
According to psychology, there are four basic human needs that your inner child wants to be fulfilled:
- the need for attachment,
- the need for autonomy and control,
- the need for satisfaction of pleasure or avoidance of displeasure, and
- the need for recognition.
In situations where we react disproportionately emotionally, it is often the inner child that craves one of these basic needs. The inner child shows up in unhealthy behaviors and emotional patterns. Such as when we become envious or sad in certain situations, when we feel guilt or feel humiliated and disappointed.
Or like, when you feel unjustly attacked by a stranger and want to justify yourself, although you could actually care less about their criticism.
Question Your Own Behavior
But how do I manage to tame my inner child and behave like an adult? The most important step is to bring the unconscious into consciousness. This means first of all recognizing behavior patterns and the associated early childhood imprints.
- Perceive what I’m feeling and thinking. Do I have thoughts like, “This is all so unfair” or “No one understands me”?
- Ask whether I want to continue to behave or consciously feel the way I do following these thoughts. For example, getting angry about it for days after the confrontation.
- Asking what the inner child longs for, and considering when and where I first felt that feeling. Did I perhaps not feel sufficiently heard and understood as a child? Can I think of a specific situation?
- Give the inner child what it needs: If you perceive that your inner child wants to be heard and understood, close your eyes and imagine yourself as a small child – and then see yourself. Give yourself what you need. Attention, love or a hug.
Journal Prompts For Deep Inner Child Healing
Journaling is a great way to work on your inner child and get to know them. It can help to release trauma you experienced in childhood by writing it down and releasing the emotions associated with it. Inner child healing is a process and doesn’t happen overnight, so it is important to allow yourself time and start journaling daily in small steps until you start noticing the long-term benefits.
How To Start Journaling To Heal Your Inner Child
Try to set 20-30 minutes of quiet time to yourself to journal each day. Preferably a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Grab a pen and paper or notebook and get comfortable. Here are some guidelines to help you get attuned and connected to your inner child:
- Take a few deep breathes then take a few minutes to close your eyes and visualize your inner child before starting your journaling
- Set your intentions – what you want to learn from this and what you want to release
- Try not to be judgemental about what you receive
- Be honest with yourself
- Listen to your inner child carefully and honour what they say
- Once you have finished writing, take a few deep breathes as it will help you to redirect your focus and re-align your energy
20 Journal Prompts For Healing Your Inner Child
Here are 20 journal prompts to help get you started on your deep inner child healing work:
- What activities did you do for fun as a child? Why did you stop these activities? Would you like to resume them? Why or why not?
- Where were your favourite places to go to as a child? Where did you feel safest as a child?
- What was your favourite game to play as a child? Did you have any invisible friends as a child and what was their energy like? Tune in to your inner child and write down what they are telling you.
- Describe a time when you felt you were misunderstood or neglected as a child. What do you wish you could tell them now? Check in with your inner child to see how they want to be nurtured.
- Who was your hero as a child and why did you look up to them? (Non-fiction or fiction)
- What stories did you enjoy as a child and why (tv shows, films, books)? How did they make you feel?
- Who were your closest friends in school and are you still friends with them now? Why or why not?
- Write about a childhood experience that started off self-limiting beliefs or insecurities such as fear of failure or not feeling good enough. Ask your inner child what you can do to release the self-limiting beliefs now.
- What was your dream job as a child? Listen to what your inner child is telling you. The dreams you had may have evolved now you are an adult, but the childlike spirit within you is still there. Ask your inner child how you can still achieve your dreams now. Write it all down.
- Who hurt you the most during childhood? Can you forgive them now? Why or why not?
- What was the toughest thing you went through during childhood? Ask your inner child how you can release the repressed emotions now.
- Describe a time as a child when you may have hurt someone else’s feelings. If you could go back, would you change how you acted towards them? Why or why not?
- What was your outlook on life as a child? Is it different from how you feel now?
- Write about a time when you felt you lost the feeling of ‘childhood innocence’.
- If you were a child now, where do you think you would be?
- What is the one thing your inner child is afraid of?
- If you could only tell your inner child one thing now? What would you say and why?
- Write down a quality that you had as a child that you liked and wish you still had now.
- In what way is your inner child affecting your life now? Listen to what your inner child is telling you and write it down.
- How can you treat your inner child with love and kindness now?
If you want to take your inner child’s healing further, have a go at drawing your inner child in your journal to add color and visually bring your inner child to life. Ask your inner child what they enjoy and what some of their favorite things are. This can help you to visualize your inner child more effectively and help you to connect and align with them on a deeper level.
Remember, it is important to take your time, treat yourself and your inner child with loving-kindness, and have patience with your journey.
If you want to go one step further, I recommend the following book, which is available on amazon.
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