When we're children, we rely on our parents or other caregivers to provide our basic needs. But as an adult, you need to take care of yourself, which also means taking care of your inner child. The concept of behaving as if there's a small child in your brain might sound silly, but getting to know and caring for your inner child can also be life-changing.
"The essence behind [inner child] work is acknowledging that most of us experienced things during our childhood that left us feeling out of control, anxious, depressed, or traumatized," licensed psychologist Sue Sexton tells Bustle. "In fact, from ages 0-7, we are in such a deep theta brain state that our caregivers and society are pretty much programming our subconscious to believe the world works certain ways based on the words and experiences people offer us. So, when we are adults, it is our responsibility to go inward and feel, release, and reprogram ourselves — pretty much heal those parts of us that had difficult experiences."
Don't worry — caring for your inner child doesn't have to be a full-time job. Here are some little things you can do to show them the love they deserve — and maybe didn't get when they needed it.