Rediscover Joy and Help Heal Your Inner Child With Creative Activities

Apr 21, 2024 | Main Blog | 0 comments

Within all of us, there is an inner child who carries the wounds left by the negative or traumatic experiences we had in our childhood.

This inner child is often the source of our insecurities and anxieties, and when left unhealed, can hold us back from truly embracing our adult lives.

So how do we listen to the voice of our inner child? One of the best ways to do this is by doing the creative activities that inspired us as children.

Finding the joy and freedom in doing a creative activity can help free up your inner child, whether it’s in the form of art, music or drama.

International Creativity and Innovation Day is on April 21, and it’s your cue to re-ignite your creative spark. Here are five ways that creative expression can be used to heal your inner child.

1. Writing and journaling can help you find your inner voice

Journaling is the practice of writing to yourself, free of any external judgment.

It’s an honest pulse on our inner thoughts and can help us put into words our emotional response to a negative experience.

But recounting what happened and writing down how we feel helps us come to terms with the negative experience. It also allows us to build self-awareness about our own emotions and forces us to identify the pain that our inner child is carrying.

Try this exercise: Practice free writing by writing down the first thing that comes to you when you look at a blank page.

2. Art can give a non-verbal expression to past trauma

When trauma is buried deep, it can sometimes be difficult for us to express it in words.

Art addresses this by opening the door for alternative forms of communication other than verbal.

An exercise in drawing or painting can allow us to visually express our inner pain and give a voice to the subconscious self when writing cannot.

It’s no wonder that art therapy has been found effective in treating symptoms of PTSD among adults.

To give shape to our traumas is the first step to helping us process our emotions and come to terms with what we have experienced.

Try this exercise: Paint or draw a picture that represents your inner self.

3. Music can destress us and can help us rediscover enjoyment in play

Putting on music when we’re stressed is something all of us do.

Whether it’s a soundtrack of your favorite pop songs or classical piano tunes, music has a huge impact on our mood, and it can soothe us when we’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Beyond listening, playing a musical instrument can also help us rediscover the joy of play, something that we have all experienced as children.

Play empowers us to let go of the need for perfection, and to simply have fun. It allows us to embrace the inner child who is simply curious and unshackled by any preconceived notions.

Try this exercise: Learn how to play a new musical instrument.

4. Dance can free the traumas carried in our bodies

According to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Scoreour psychological traumas don’t leave purely mental scars. They also manifest themselves in our physical bodies.

Adults who have long carried trauma from their childhood will often feel tense or numb in their own bodies. As such, treating trauma isn’t just about healing the mind, it’s also about healing the body.

Dr. van der Kolk recommends movement exercises that allow us to reconnect with our bodies, such as dance or yoga.

Feeling safe and comfortable in our own skin and learning to show greater love and care to our bodies is what ultimately will reconnect us with our inner selves.

Try this exercise: Take an adult beginner’s dance class and put your body through unfamiliar movements.

5. Drama can help you break free from mental barriers

Dr. van der Kolk also advocates for drama as another form of psychotherapy for trauma patients.

Role playing in drama is all about conveying the emotions of another character with as much honesty as possible.

Acting gives you permission to embody emotions you might otherwise be suppressing. Doing so may help you become aware of the emotions you carry deep down.

Beyond this, being in another person’s shoes can help you map out a new way forward in dealing with your own traumas. How does your character confront their negative experiences? Playing out the resolution to their story can help you find closure in confronting your traumas.

Try this exercise: Sign up for an acting or improv class.

Her Nexx Chapter invites you to join our free Community where women from around the world are connecting with each other’s stories, exploring different experiences, and transforming ideas.

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