Is Shame Weighing You Down? Here are 5 Tips to Heal your Inner Child

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Published Date|
June 7, 2024

Is Shame Weighing You Down? Here are 5 Tips to Heal your Inner Child

We’ve all been there. You’re at a party, someone makes an offhand comment, and suddenly you’re transported back to that awkward moment in third grade when you spilled juice all over yourself. Why does that memory still sting? It’s because our inner child—the part of us that holds onto these childhood experiences—still feels the shame.

The inner child represents the childlike aspects within us: our memories, emotions, and experiences from childhood that shape who we are today. This part of us can carry both joyful memories and unresolved pain. When these childhood experiences are not fully processed, they can manifest as emotional triggers in our adult life, causing us to react in ways that seem disproportionate to the present situation.

At KMA Therapy, we believe that addressing and healing your inner child is crucial for a happier, healthier life. By nurturing and understanding this vulnerable part of ourselves, we can release old wounds and build a stronger, more resilient self! Let’s dive into 5 tips to heal your inner child and embark on a journey toward emotional freedom and well-being.

5 Tips to Heal Your Inner Child

Healing your inner child can be a transformative experience, helping you release old wounds and embrace a more joyful and balanced life. By addressing the hurt and shame from your past, you can build a stronger, healthier relationship with yourself. Explore the 5 tips below to start your healing journey.

1. Embrace Your Inner Kindness

It’s easy to be hard on yourself, especially when those childhood memories resurface. Instead, try treating yourself with the same kindness you’d offer a friend. Self-compassion involves recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that you’re not alone in your struggles. When you catch yourself being self-critical, pause and reframe those thoughts.

Remember that time your best friend messed up? You probably told them it was okay and that everyone makes mistakes. Now, try saying that to yourself next time you feel ashamed.

  • Pause: When self-critical thoughts arise, take a moment to stop and breathe.
  • Reframe: Change negative self-talk to something kinder and more supportive.
  • Acknowledge: Recognize that everyone has struggles and makes mistakes, including you.

When you make a mistake, imagine talking to your inner child like you would to a child who’s learning something new. Be gentle and encouraging, reminding yourself that it's okay to be imperfect.

2. Unearthing Childhood Positivity

This might sound a bit odd, but revisiting your childhood memories can be incredibly healing. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to recall happy moments and celebrate them. It’s about shifting your perspective from what went wrong to what went right. This can help balance out those negative memories and give you a fuller, more positive view of your past.

Think of your childhood like a photo album. Instead of just looking at the embarrassing or sad photos, take time to enjoy the ones that capture happy moments too.

  • Reflect: Take time to think about positive childhood memories.
  • Celebrate: Acknowledge and appreciate the happy moments you experienced.
  • Balance: Use these positive memories to balance out negative ones.

Spend an afternoon looking through old family photos or home videos, focusing on the ones that make you smile. Reflect on the joy and love present in those moments.

3. A Heartfelt Letter to the Younger You

Writing can be a powerful tool for healing. Take some time to write a letter to your younger self, offering words of comfort, reassurance, and understanding. Acknowledge the pain and shame you felt, but also remind your younger self of their strengths and the positive things they’ve achieved.

Picture writing a letter to a friend who’s going through a tough time. What would you say to encourage them? Now, say those things to your younger self.

  • Comfort: Offer words of reassurance and understanding.
  • Acknowledge: Recognize the pain and challenges you faced as a child.
  • Celebrate: Highlight the strengths and achievements of your younger self.

Begin the letter with "Dear [Your Name]," and write as if you are speaking to a beloved younger sibling or friend. Mention specific incidents and how they shaped you, and offer the wisdom you have now.

4. Revitalize Your Spirit Through Playful Pursuits

Reconnecting with your inner child often means tapping into that sense of playfulness and creativity. Engage in activities you enjoyed as a kid—whether it’s drawing, playing a sport, or simply running around outside. These activities can help you reconnect with a sense of joy and freedom that’s often lost in adulthood.

Remember how much fun it was to ride your bike around the neighborhood without a care in the world? Try to capture that feeling again with activities that bring you joy and make you feel alive.

  • Create: Engage in artistic activities like drawing or painting.
  • Play: Participate in sports or games you enjoyed as a child.
  • Explore: Spend time outdoors, running around and exploring.

Set aside time each week to do something purely for fun—play a game, paint, or dance around your living room. Let yourself be silly and free from adult responsibilities for a while.

5. Open Up to a Therapeutic Relationship

First and foremost, we can’t stress this enough: talking to a therapist is essential. It might feel daunting at first, but a therapist can help you navigate those deep-rooted feelings of shame and guide you on the path to healing. Think of it as having a personal trainer for your mental health. They’re there to support you, provide insight, and give you the tools you need to work through your emotions. Plus, sometimes just having someone to listen to can make all the difference.

Imagine you’re trying to assemble a complicated piece of IKEA furniture without instructions. Frustrating, right? A therapist is like having those instructions handy—they help you make sense of the pieces and put everything together properly.

  • Guidance: Therapists provide insight and strategies to address deep-seated emotions.
  • Support: They offer a safe space to explore your feelings without judgment.
  • Tools: You'll gain coping mechanisms to manage and heal your emotional wounds.

Signs That Your Inner Child Is Healing

5 Tips to Heal Your Inner Child

Improved Self-Esteem

You start seeing yourself in a more positive light, believing in your worth and abilities. For example, you might begin to accept compliments more easily and feel proud of your accomplishments without downplaying them.

Increased Self-Compassion: 

You treat yourself with the same kindness you’d offer a friend, forgiving yourself for mistakes and viewing them as learning opportunities. For instance, when you make a mistake, you’ll be more likely to offer yourself gentle and encouraging words, recognizing that it’s okay to be imperfect.

Healthier Relationships: 

You recognize and establish healthy boundaries, choosing relationships that are nurturing and supportive. An example of this might be ending toxic friendships and seeking out people who truly appreciate and support you.

Reduced Emotional Triggers: 

Emotional triggers have less power over you, and you feel more in control of your emotions. For example, situations that previously made you feel overwhelmingly anxious or angry will now evoke a calmer, more measured response.

Enhanced Joy and Playfulness:

 You engage in activities that make you happy and feel free to express yourself creatively. For instance, you might rediscover hobbies you loved as a child, like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument, and find immense pleasure in them.

Greater Emotional Awareness:

You have a deeper understanding of your emotions and respond to your feelings in healthier ways. An example would be taking proactive steps to care for yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed or sad, such as talking to a friend or practicing mindfulness.

Insider's Takeaway

At KMA Therapy, we understand that healing your inner child isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Here are some key points to remember on your journey:

  • Healing Takes Time: Be patient with yourself. Emotional wounds from childhood don’t heal overnight, and it’s important to give yourself the grace and time needed to work through them.
  • Self-Love is Crucial: Practicing self-compassion is key. Treat yourself with the kindness and understanding you would offer to a dear friend. This can significantly impact your emotional well-being.
  • Therapists Are Guides: Professional therapists can provide invaluable guidance. They offer a safe space to explore your feelings, understand your inner child, and develop strategies for healing.
  • Positive Memories Matter: Shifting your focus to positive childhood memories can help balance out negative ones. Celebrating the good times is just as important as acknowledging the bad.
  • Writing Heals: Writing letters to your younger self can be a therapeutic exercise. It allows you to express love, understanding, and reassurance, helping to mend past hurts.
  • Play and Creativity Are Powerful: Engaging in playful activities can reconnect you with the joy and freedom of childhood. Whether it’s drawing, playing sports, or simply being silly, these activities can rejuvenate your spirit.
  • You’re Not Alone: Remember, it’s okay to seek help and share your journey with others. Community and support systems can provide comfort and encouragement.

What You Need to Know 

How can a therapist help with inner child healing? 

A therapist can provide guidance, support, and tools to help you navigate and understand your emotions, making the healing process more manageable. They offer a safe, non-judgmental space to explore past experiences and their impact on your present life.

What are some signs that my inner child needs healing? 

Signs include feeling overly sensitive to criticism, experiencing frequent feelings of shame or guilt, and having difficulty forming healthy relationships. Other indicators might be persistent negative self-talk or a tendency to self-sabotage.

How long does it take to heal your inner child? 

The healing process varies for everyone and depends on individual experiences and the support systems in place. It’s important to be patient and kind to yourself throughout the journey. Remember, healing is a gradual process that unfolds over time.

What should I expect during inner child therapy sessions?

During inner child therapy sessions, you can expect to explore your childhood experiences, emotions, and memories. Therapists often use techniques such as guided imagery, role-playing, and creative expression to help you connect with and heal your inner child. Each session is tailored to your unique needs, providing a safe space to process and understand your feelings.

Can healing my inner child improve my physical health?

Yes, healing your inner child can have positive effects on your physical health. Emotional healing can reduce stress, which is linked to various physical ailments such as headaches, digestive issues, and sleep problems. By addressing and resolving emotional wounds, you may experience improved overall well-being, including better sleep, reduced physical tension, and a stronger immune system.


Healing your inner child is about more than just addressing past shame—it’s about reclaiming joy, building self-compassion, and fostering a healthier relationship with yourself. At KMA Therapy, we believe that taking these steps can transform your life, allowing you to move forward with a lighter heart and a clearer mind. Whether it’s talking to a therapist, practicing self-compassion, revisiting positive childhood memories, writing to your younger self, or engaging in playful activities, each tip brings you closer to healing. Remember, the journey to healing your inner child is unique to each person. It requires patience, kindness, and a willingness to embrace both the pain and the joy of your past experiences. By taking these steps, you’re investing in a happier, more fulfilling future.

Ready to start your healing journey? We at KMA Therapy are here to support you every step of the way. Register online with KMA Therapy today and take our Therapy 101 quiz to find out how we can best support you. Your inner child will thank you! Explore our website for more resources, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We believe in the power of self-compassion and the transformative impact of therapy. Take that first step towards healing today and discover the joy and freedom of connecting with your inner child. Visit KMA Therapy to learn more and get started!

Author |
Haseena Baig
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