Is It Time To Grow Up?

You know those days when you’ve planned to do all kinds of things but when you wake up you feel ‘little’ and it’s about as much as you can do to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other let alone tackle anything more challenging.

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Probably your inner child (and you have many) has taken over.

These are just some of the signs that might help you to recognise that your inner child has taken over:

  1. You have a feeling of inner collapse.

  2. You feel stuck.

  3. You have ‘brain mush’ your head feels as if it’s  in fog and you 
    can’t think straight.

  4. Your voice has a different quality, quiet and childlike, whiny or rebellious.

  5. You can’t get on with anything, even the simplest tasks seem overwhelming.

  6. You have a wobbly, shaky feeling inside or a heavy, dragging weight in your         stomach or chest.

  7. You don’t want to engage with anyone, least of all go to work.

  8. You don’t feel in control.

  9. You feel as if you can't cope and crave a duvet day.

10. Your dominant thoughts are helpless, negative and victim like.

If you've said yes to any of the above, it's an indicator that you’ve morphed into child mode. Worse still you could stay stuck in this state for hours and even days.

How does this happen?
First of all, there can be many things that flip us into child mode, for example a dream from the night before, a film that you recently watched or an item in the news that has triggered you emotionally. 

Another reason could be an argument with a family member, a run-in with a work colleague or a falling out with a loved one.  Almost anything can act as a negative trigger that awakens your inner-child. Even hearing someone shouting can be enough for some people to trauma trigger their inner-child.

Most noteworthy and as a guideline, if you're feelings are more in evidence than your thoughts, you can bet it's your inner child. 

Therefore, waking up with strong emotions or physical sensations such as a churning stomach or tightness or breath is a good indicator your inner child is present.

Does it even matter what caused it? 

Because we can get hung-up on trying to discover the triggers, this can result in more stuck behaviour, so better to focus on finding solutions. Furthermore, changing our state will help us to get back in control. 

So how do you do that?

First of all there’s some homework to be done. On a good day when you feel adult, a bit more optimistic about life and yourself, make a list of what is going on around you that allows you to feel this way.

For example your list might look like this:

  • I’m wearing bright colours.
  • I’ve been for my run.
  • I’ve spent time with good supportive friends this week.
  • I’m eating sensibly
  • I’m sleeping well because I haven’t been watching the news.
  • I’m meditating regularly or listening to an audio programme
  • I’m planning to go to my yoga class.
  • I’ve been listening to music
  • I’ve been reading/watching positive thinking material/sites
  • I’ve spent some time in nature, been to the park or the coast

Above all revisit this list regularly. Write it in your journal or stick it on the inside of your wardrobe where you will see it daily. Letting it act as a subliminal message to your subconscious mind. Reminding you of the things that let you feel adult and grounded.

Another great idea is to read this list out loud to yourself on a day when you’re stuck in child. Aim to apply as many of the things on your list as possible. It will help you get back into adult mode.

Furthermore follow these steps, because they will help you get back into the driving seat. 

  1. Let some light into your room/house . Open your blinds/curtains and a window to change the energy and let the negativity out and fresh air in.
  2. Nurture yourself, prepare some comforting food and a warm drink, have a warm bath and massage yourself gently with body lotion. Or gently scrub with a loofah both of which can help you start feeling again.
  3. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down some questions to ask your inner child such as “What do you want or need so that you can feel better”
  4. Listen intently for the first answers that form in your mind and write down the answer which may be something like, “ I want to feel safe, or I want to be loved" Ask next, “What can happen now so that you can feel safe or loved"?
  5. Develop a written dialogue with that part of yourself until you can a) feel a difference and a healthy distance between you and the inner child and b) have an idea of what that part of you needs in order to feel better.
  6. Aim to meet the needs of that part of you maybe with an imaginary cuddle or you may decide to cancel your visit to the family party because that part of you would benefit from some quiet time instead.
  7. Call a trusted friend who knows you well and ask if they can help you to morph back into ‘adult’.
  8. Do something that will help you to feel grown up and back in control. Perhaps do some gardening, baking or some yoga.
  9. If this is something that happens more often than you would like, maybe it’s time to engage the help of a professional and help your inner-child to grow up. Talk to a counsellor or therapist.  
  10. Consider taking a personal development course to give you some tools for dealing with these feelings when they surface. 
  11. Listen to audio guides, hypnosis programmes to upgrade your mental software.

One thing is for sure, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, so do something different and help yourself to feel better.

Self-care will contribute to a better sense of wellbeing and confidence. Take good care of you because you really do matter.

Susan D Smith

I specialise in working with anxiety, panic attacks, anger and stress. With over 28 years experience I'd like to help you to feel better and to have more control over your thoughts and behaviours. I have lots of life-changing tools to facilitate your change.


Go to the profile of Jane Kirk
almost 3 years ago

My inner child is stuck, in full tantrum mode, red faced, sweaty and impossibly unreasonable in the face of injustice!

Thank you for the much needed wake up call.