How to Nurture Your Inner Child to Enhance Your Life
Improve your life by becoming younger at heart
by Joanne Troppello
“To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.” — Wayne Dyer
The point of growing up is to put our childish ways behind us and behave like emotionally intelligent adults.
That’s a great plan.
Sometimes it works.
Other times it doesn’t.
I was an emotionally immature adult during my twenties. Through the years, I’ve grown up and matured. However, one thing that has enhanced my life along the way and augmented personal growth and development has been to nurture my inner child and embrace the mindset to be young at heart.
That may seem counterintuitive to the process of growing as a mature adult. However, embracing a childlike wonder is one thing many adults are missing.
Back in September 2019, my husband and I moved into a duplex next door to my sister. She and her 5 and 6 year old daughters live in the other side. Being in such proximity has been a blessing in disguise during the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine life—and as our State started to open up again.
Since we’ve been sort of quarantined together, my sister and I usually go shopping once a week and my husband watches the girls. I was already working at home doing freelance copywriting work, but now my sister was deployed to work from home—and since the girls haven’t had school—we’ve gotten to see them more.
Spending time with them has taught me to lighten up and find the silver lining any way we can during COVID-19 and quarantine life.
Consider the following ways to cultivate your inner child.
Find time to play
I grew up in a large family with nine kids. My mom was a social worker. She had four kids and adopted five. There was no shortage of kids to play with in our house.
We were friends with the neighborhood kids and loved to play Capture the Flag and Manhunt. We lived to play as children. However, finding time to play as adults can unleash your creativity and open up a world of possibilities to you in both your personal and professional life.
Now, with quarantine life and not every state opening up yet, you can’t go out and spend time with friends or go out on a date night with your significant other.
Learn from mistakes
We all make mistakes. I can remember many times I made mistakes as a child. I got into things I wasn’t supposed to and drove my mom crazy. I’m not suggesting that we all start making mistakes. However, many times we allow mistakes to hold us captive to stagnation.
Most children are able to shake off their mistakes—through loving guidance from parents or guardians—and move one.
As adults, we should take that lesson to heart and recognize that we are fallible and that’s okay. We need to learn from our mistakes and move forward through personal growth and development.
Embrace your passions
If you have children, nieces or nephews, or friends with kids, you know that they generally have a zest for life and live in the moment. Most of the time, that involves playing and doing things that are fun and enjoyable.
As adults with responsibilities, we often lose sight of how good it feels to embrace our passions and discover new things to get excited about. Yes, we need to be responsible and provide for our families. However, it’s important to find something in life that we’re passionate about and enjoy our time doing it.
Even if you’re not passionate about your day job, consider taking up a hobby that can get your creative juices flowing and remind you of what it feels like to enjoy something in the midst of real life.
Tap into your courage
We’re all different and have unique personality traits. Not everyone is an extrovert. Some of us are introverts who would rather stay at home reading a book on our Kindle. These personality traits come to light when we’re children.
I love watching the differences between my two nieces. The six year old reminds me of me and how I’m shy and have a tight knit circle of friends. The five year old is bolder and not as fearful of trying new things. However, they both tap into their inner strength to try new things, even if the younger sibling is the one who is urging the older one on.
The ironic thing is that my younger sister—mom to my nieces—was the one always getting me to try new things. She’s still helping me get out of my comfort zone today.
Channel your inner boldness and strength and remember what it felt like as a child to try something new for the first time.
These days are uncertain because of the coronavirus. Maybe you’ve experienced a loss of a family member, friend, or acquaintance. You might be deployed to work from home right now and that’s challenging enough, but even more difficult when trying to help your children with their online schoolwork.
You might be unemployed. No matter what you’re experiencing right now, tap into your inner well of courage and know that we will make it through this. Don’t be afraid to educate yourself on something like having to learn a new skill for a job outside your skillset.
Kids ask a lot of questions. I remember always asking my mom why questions. She responded, but eventually I’m sure I got on her last nerve.
Nurture your inner child by questioning everything.
“Question everything with boldness.” — Glenn Beck
I love that statement. There is so much information dispersed today with the 24 hour news cycle, so much time spent on social media, and reading online publications. We hear one thing about the coronavirus from one source and another thing from someone else.
This video from The Adley Show brings a bit of humor to quarantine life and how we’re hearing conflicting advice on the best way to handle this crisis.
It’s enough to drive you crazy.
However, more than ever before, it is important to act like an inquisitive child—not an impertinent one—and question everything so you can find the answers that you need for you and your family.
Being inquisitive can be an essential building block to your personal development.
Improve your life by becoming younger at heart as you nurture your inner child.
Find time to play
Learn from mistakes
Embrace your passion
Tap into your courage
We only get one life to live. Don’t waste time trudging through life when you can live a fuller life by remembering these ways to make things more fun and interesting.
Previously published in Medium.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.