Do you ever look in the mirror and you wonder where “you” have gone? You feel overwhelmed by life and you feel so disconnected from the energetic and hopeful spirit you had in your childhood. You have no idea where the time has gone and how all of a sudden you are an adult, when you swear you were just sitting in Mr. Green’s 8th grade science class sending notes about your crush back and forth between you and your best friend. Yes, everyone grows up, matures and feels like you don’t identify with the child you once were; you might feel like it’s not really “you” anymore. Ironically, you have never been more YOU than when you were a child, as that is when you were your purest most authentic self before “life” happened.
I know, it’s unbelievable how fast time flies, but that is the reality. It’s also the reality that as we get older we have more life experiences that aren’t all sunshine and rainbows and it seems with each occurrence, we lose a piece of our child-like essence. The result is that we feel un-fulfilled and unhappy; surviving and not thriving. I’m here to tell you that you have the power to function as an adult but also bring that beautiful essence back, as it has always been there; you’ve just been ignoring it. That essence is your inner child. Your little one wants to play, wants to laugh, wants to run around and wants to NOT WORRY about things. Your little one is carefree and only wants to focus on the big picture of why we all here on this planet. We are here to enjoy life, to learn lessons and learn about ourselves as we are going through it.
Increasing your happiness by connecting with your inner child is accessible for everyone, it just takes a little energy and attitude shift and you will be good to go.
1. Reduced Stress Levels
When we are connected to our inner child we feel less stressed. Kids don’t spend hours upon hours and days upon days being stressed over one thing. Rather, they move on because they want to get back to playing. We as adults, have the power to be like kids in that way. When we find ourselves stressing or ruminating over something, all we have to do is remind ourselves that whatever it is we are feeling in the moment, it will pass; we will not be feeling that way always. When we are stressed, it is detrimental for our minds, our bodies and our souls. Our cortisol level rises which puts stress on our body and can actually speed up the aging process. So, if you want to stay young and as stress-free as possible, just think of the advice your little one would give you, and it’s “Get out there and run around a little – I’m cooped up in here.” A good life has balance. All work and no play means stress, but working hard and then giving ourselves the self-care we need and allowing ourselves some “me time” is also how we can de-stress, feel happier and enjoy life more.
2) Adventure = Happiness
Connecting with the little one inside brings back a sense of excitement, exploration and adventure. You can talk to your little one (definitely don’t do it out loud when you’re in line at Starbucks though). It doesn’t need to be out loud as you can close your eyes and ask your little one inside how they think you can have more adventure and new experiences. When we have new and positive experiences, we are happier. Getting out there in the world and exploring can raise our vibrations and our happiness levels. Go hiking, walk along the beach or go to a new restaurant. Anything that you do that is adventurous in its own well with be beneficial to your happiness.
3) You will feel more loved
Children are incredibly innocent. Because of their lack of life experience, there are no negative stories running through their minds all day every day about how they aren’t worthy of love (because of a bad breakup for instance). There has been less time in the world to bring them down and suck the essence out of their soul. Children are clean slates. The love that they receive is pure, and they are constantly open to receiving and giving love. If you want to feel love in your heart again, I recommend spending some time connecting with it, and feeling what it felt like as a kid; how open it was and how happy love made you feel.
4) Creative Kids
As we know, kids are incredibly creative and creativity breeds happiness. Their minds are constantly thinking of what they can create. Their imaginations are off the charts. Our imagination is what helps us tap into our creativeness. I don’t care how old you are. You are never too old to create. We are all creative beings and when we connect with that little one within who wants to create beautiful magic, we can too.
5) Playing more breeds happiness
Playing is underrated as an adult. You may feel like you don’t have time, you feel silly, you feel like you don’t deserve to play, or you feel like if you’re not working you have to be doing something else that is productive. Well, ironically, PLAY is productive, as it is productive to our soul’s evolution and our true happiness. When you are playing, it’s fun and you forget your troubles, you get your body and that energy moving and it feels good. You are allowed to play, and you should play- take that little one inside to the park and go down the slide if that’s what they want to do.
Life doesn’t need to be overly serious. Connecting with your non-serious inner child can help. Most adults feel like life needs to be serious. Life can be light-hearted if you just allow yourself to make that shift and change your attitude and perspective. I am definitely not perfect at this at all. The truth is, being an adult does come with some heavy life “stuff” that is not always “fun” to deal with and go through, but the good news, is we do have the power inside of ourselves to choose how we are going to relate to what is going on. Are you going to let it capture your essence and be a soul-sucker or are you going to be in acceptance and be able to know that you will get through it? It’s very common for people to be in “victim mode.”
“Oh, poor me – my life sucks, everyone else has an easy life, but I have to deal with THIS – are you kidding me? I didn’t sign up for this!”
And a “victim mode’s” favorite line of ALL time is:
“It’s not fair!” Been there done that! And even now, I need to catch myself when I find myself going there; going there into the rabbit hole of victim mode is the opposite of what your “little you” would tell you to do and that’s the key. When you find yourself heading into negative land, just stop – stop what you are doing, stop what you are thinking – just stop and take a breath and then ask yourself what your little one would tell you to do, and whatever it is, that’s your truth- that’s your joy. Kids are simple. Kids play, they laugh, they eat and sleep and then play again and they LOVE, whole heartedly. That’s still in you, it’s still there, and It doesn’t matter if you’ve been jaded or burned; your little one is still there and still is powerful beyond measure. Tap into that energy and remember that time when you were a kid and you felt like you could do anything in life; you could be anything, that’s the energy I want you to tap into to increase your happiness.
Lessons I learned from my grandma
Re-direction breeds happiness and it can take you a long way. When you feel like life is getting difficult, all you need to do is to get re-directed just like kids do. When my son was two-years-old, I learned the art of the re-direction. My grandma had come over for dinner and my son was crying because he wanted to have a cookie for dessert and I told him he needed to have fruit instead (he had already had a piece of cake and candy that day at a friend’s birthday party, so he had met his sugar quota for the day). As I started to go through my list in my mind of everything that I could do to get him to stop crying, my grandma simply, quietly and gently asked “Sweetsie boy, did you go to the zoo the other day?” Almost immediately, he lit up and with tears still on his cheeks he said “Yes!” Then my grams proceeded to ask him a ton of questions all about what animals he saw there, and he was hooked; he was fully present in that conversation- cookie, shmookie! He was all about telling grandma about the zoo! This was such an amazing scene to witness with such learning opportunities; not just as a mom with regards to how to help a two-year-old who is sad, but also it was a reminder of how we as adults have the power to get re-directed or re-direct ourselves when it’s needed!
You might be wondering HOW? The key is having the ability to let go of what is not serving us. Staying in “upset mode” is literally the opposite of beneficial for us; mind, body and soul. It’s having the ability to forget what was disturbing your peace and find something else to talk about or do that lights you up just like how talking about the zoo lit up my son. The past is the past; it’s just something that happened and then it passed.
Holding onto something is only holding you back from being in the flow and letting life continue on and to experience everything incredible that is waiting for you. @theluvexpert (Click to Tweet!)
Feel those feelings and take some time to process and reflect – see what you can learn from those feelings, but then tell the upset that you don’t have time to stay there and hang out too long because you have your life to live.
When in doubt, connect with your inner child as he or she has a lot of knowledge to share with you on how you can live a happy life. That inner child of yours is wise beyond their years; they have a lot to say and we as adults have a lot to learn and become inspired from. Our inner child is constantly reminding us how to have a happy life; we just need to choose to listen and then take action.
Jaime Bronstein is a relationship coach, radio show host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio, blogger, author, wife and mommy. She has been a practicing therapist for 18 years. Jaime has a master’s degree in social work from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and a certificate in spiritual psychology from The University of Santa Monica. Jaime focuses on teaching her clients how to unconditionally love themselves, how to be vulnerable, tap into their inner strength, and live more authentically in order to achieve their relationship goals. Jaime will not only help you heal and extinguish any negative relationship habits, but she will also provide you with the tools needed in order to have a successful relationship. Find her online at www.therelationshipexpert.com and catch her on-camera radio show. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Image courtesy of Leo Rivas.