Reconnecting with your Inner Child
Being an adult is hard. As we grow from children to young adults to adults, the amount of responsibility we shoulder grows with us. As it does, we get buried under bills and other obligations that pull our attention in many different directions, which can contribute to stress. Sometimes a glass of wine to unwind after work helps, other times watching a favorite television show is enough to divert our work-focused brains. If none of the usual adult tactics work to effectively combat the overload, consider reconnecting with your inner child and doing what kids do: playing.
While being a child isn’t exactly without stress, their ability to rebound is quick. When children are worried or anxious, they tend to gravitate toward activities that serve as productive outlets for their stress. Spending time playing with their cars or dolls or running around outside to let off steam can be an effective way of avoiding a meltdown. Unless you want to allow your stress to build to the point where it can no longer be managed, discover something fun that you like to do.
Playtime for adults is underrated, especially activities that are generally considered only suitable for children. But losing touch with our inner child is part of what contributes to the outward adult stress overload. The problem lies in the imbalance that comes from spending all of our time paying attention to adult problems and not enough time indulging in activities that make us happy and content.
So, how do you reconnect with your inner child?
If you have children, this process is easier than you might think. Spend time with your children. Join them in playing the games they enjoy. Build a fort in the living room and pretend you’re living on the wild frontier. Play dress up and lay claim to your inner diva. Spend time running around outside playing tag, tossing a football, or exploring the wonders of nature.
If you don’t have children, it can be more difficult to reconnect with your inner child, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of solitary pursuits to rediscover. Do you like art? Break out the crayons and coloring books or buy finger paints and a sketch pad and get your hands dirty. Do you like to sing? Buy a karaoke machine and belt out your favorite tunes. If you’re feeling extremely adventurous, participate in a karaoke night at a local business. Are you athletic? Enroll in a sports class that captures your interest.
Just like children, adults need to relax and have fun. It’s easy to neglect this when there are many other things clamoring for attention. Even though you might be embarrassed about participating in childlike activities, it doesn’t last long once you get into the swing of things. The stress relief and joy you’ll feel will help excite your brain and relax your tense muscles.
Stress-relief is not the only benefit you will reap from indulging in playtime. When your brain is given an opportunity to relax, many times the creative part will kick in. This allows you to see a problem from an entirely different perspective, usually without even thinking about it. Sometimes the brilliant solution to an adult problem is only one game of kickball away.
What's Your Favorite Way to Relieve Stress?
Let us know in the comments!