10 Ways to connect with your inner child
The beauty of growing older is in the expansion of our minds as a result of our experiences and increasing intelligence. As we grow older we grow more insightful, more responsible and less naïve. Unfortunately, we also often grow more jaded. We lose our youthful approach to life and in so doing lose our sense of abandon, wonder and elation for even the smallest things. Fortunately, we all have an inner child and all it takes is a bit of encouragement and enthusiasm so reconnect to that part of ourselves. Here are 10 ways to connect with that inner child taken from the everyday lessons we can learn from kids.
1. Make friends
Children are taught not to talk to strangers, not only because they are vulnerable but also because they are so enthusiastic about people. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, as soon as you come into their view a toddler will express a curiosity about you.
As we grow older and communication becomes more digital and portable, we spend more time staring at screens than at the faces of the strangers who pass us. We may not even acknowledge the fact that someone has entered the room because we’re stuck in a digital bubble with our online friends. When toddlers meet other toddlers or children, they waste no time making friends. They want to get to know the other children; they want to share and connect.
Adults can certainly learn from this by being a lot more open, a lot friendlier and a lot less afraid of rejection. A simple “hey” can be the beginning of an amazing human experience.
2. Be curious
You don’t only have to be curious about people, but about life in general. Kids are well-known for their insatiable curiosity about the world. They ask “but how?” and “but why?” until their parents settle on “just because” being the answer. Just as children should never be discouraged to ask endless questions about the world, neither should adults. As we grow older we grow increasingly comfortable with the answer being “just because”. Curiosity is enlivening. The more we have of it, the more we become in awe of the universe. Ask more questions.
3. Exercise your freedom of expression
Children can say some embarrassing things, ask some ridiculous questions and make some unfounded statements. But regardless of what it is that comes out of their mouths, most of it comes straight from their curious minds and sincere hearts. Until they are discouraged by adults to say what is on their minds, children would do so without batting an eye or feeling embarrassed about it. The beauty of age is that it allows you to filter the things you’re considering in your mind and sensor them before they escape from your mouth (most of the time) But one of the greatest lessons you can learn from kids is to express the way you feel. If you don’t like something, say so. If you want something, communicate it – being an adult just means that you don’t have to throw a tantrum while doing so. Just because you’re older, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be heard or to communicate your needs.
4. Dream big
Kids have amazing imaginations. They baffle us with their abilities to come up with the seemingly unfathomable without even having to think that hard. They just have amazing images and colours of life floating around their limitless minds.
Adults could definitely take a page out of a child’s book, or rather, a thought out of their minds.
They are not afraid to dream big and are usually quite confident that they could become superheroes and billionaires. Their dreams stem from sincere places. Of course, you don’t have to try and make you dreams of being Batman a reality, but you should allow your dreams to be bold and also believe in them so much that you would explore every possibility to make them a reality.
5. Be fascinated by the little things
Growing older can make you focus on bigger pictures and end goals. Children are fascinated by the simplest things and will stop to analyse whatever catches their eye on a footpath. They are easily awed by the details of the world because they look at the universe with fresh perspectives. They view life as a succession of phenomenon.
Become in awe of life over and over again. It keeps your spirit joyful and your heart youthful.
6. Stress less
You just have to watch children run around in a park to realize that there isn’t very much that gets them down (except perhaps a dentists appointment and not being allowed to run in the park)
Children allow fear to affect them only for short intervals at a time. This is because they’re focused on happiness. Children want to be happy; they seek and yearn for it. Fear and anxiety simply gets in the way of their joy and they will take the first opportunity to replace negative feelings with positive ones. They understand that wallowing causes them to miss out on positive experiences. This is one of the greatest lessons children teach us – to seek and embrace the happiest of moments; not letting a moment of joy pass us by.
7. Don't complicate things (simplify)
Adults tend to complicate things. Adults are in the business of expecting others to ‘figure things out’. Children are in the business of simplifying things. They often, genuinely, believe that the solutions to the biggest problems are through the simplest methods. Of course, the more you know, the more you realize that problems can be a bit more intricate and require a bit more logic to eradicate. What you can learn from kids, however, is that if there is a simple way to deal with an issue, use it. Stop over-thinking things.
Kids love in abundance. They have the ability to be affectionate toward practically everything.
Their love and sense of compassion (as well as their desire for life to be happy and harmonious – See no. 6) is what makes them so forgiving. Love isn’t a commodity for kids. They’re filled with it and have a desire to give it away. Children want to love, and that is what makes a difference to the way they live each day. Love can fill you with a sense of purpose. It makes you realize that some things are not worth the conflict because love is greater than anger and resentment. Children teach us to feel everything but always make love the overriding emotion.
Whenever the essence of being a child is captured, it is always with echoes of laughter. This is because children love to laugh. They could laugh at nothing in particular and often times find themselves to be quite hilarious. One sure way of maintaining your sense of inner youth is to laugh as often as possible. Always find a reason to smile, to be silly and to be in the presence of people who make you comfortable enough to howl and snort in situations of hilarity. When all else fails, sit down and have a good laugh at yourself.
10. Fear less
Children are bold. They don’t always think of the consequences and sometimes that can be a good thing. They’re open to new experiences and will overcome anxiety by being overcome with excitement. Children want to embody everything that is brave and benevolent, that is why they dream of becoming superheroes, teachers and fireman. The point isn’t to be reckless. As an adult you understand responsibility but by connecting with your inner child you also allow yourself to be fearless because being otherwise would not be conducive to your end goal. And the end goal of any child, whether it is the one that you see in the park or the one you find within yourself, is to be happy.