Emotional wounds are a part of life, and we all have them. Whether it’s from past traumas, relationship breakdowns, or other difficult experiences, these wounds can take a toll on our mental health and well-being. Many people turn to traditional methods of healing, such as therapy or revisiting their inner child, to find relief. While these methods can be effective for some, they’re not for everyone (and weren’t for me). That’s why in this post, we’re going to explore some fun and creative ways to heal emotional wounds. From practicing self-love to finding supportive communities, these unconventional methods may be just what you need to move forward with your healing journey if you aren’t ready for the deep work of healing your inner child. So, let’s dive in and discover the possibilities of healing beyond the inner child.
Healing through your Inner Child
There has been a particular concept that has been difficult for me to grasp. From the first time I heard of it, I thought it was an interesting take on healing. Fueled with intrigue, I listened in on discussions from idolized thinkers from all walks of life and read articles about how others had been transformed by doing it. I began practicing some of the techniques and began to feel the effects of such profound healing work. That is until I realized some of the downfalls (at least for me).
It’s the concept of healing your inner child.
On the one hand, healing your inner child seems to be logical. You acknowledge and identify your past wounds, then follow the realization of such wounds with reconnection, validation, forgiveness, and self-care. This process is actually accepting that there was pain and moving through it so that childhood traumas don’t follow you into adulthood. And this is a very important step to healing a lot of trauma because it requires an element of ownership and acceptance, which many of us struggle to do.
Limitations of Healing Emotional Wounds through your Inner Child
However, through my experience, the practice of healing your inner child seems to have limitations. While it can be a powerful and transformative process, I have discovered the following limitations.
- It can’t solve all of your problems
Listen, I will always be the first to tell you that many of your current issues are actually issues with deep-rooted belief systems stored in your subconscious mind. Therefore, in order to heal emotional wounds, especially deep ones, begins with acknowledging they exist, and bringing them into our conscious awareness is half the battle. But healing can’t stop here, nor does “healing your inner child” ensure that your current state will be filled with joy and happiness. In fact, healing your inner child is only the beginning of the pursuit of happiness.
- It can be triggering
Anyone who has taken steps to heal emotional wounds through their inner child already knows how painful this process can be. And while I’m a huge advocate of coming to terms with discomfort and pain as a means to become more spiritually aligned, I am also an advocate of taking time to pursue joy. Unraveling childhood trauma is a heavy process. Therefore, we must balance the pain with things that bring immense joy to our lives. Otherwise, we can run the risk of unraveling too much too fast without the proper ability to manage big upheavals of emotion.
- It can take a long time
Not only can healing your inner child be triggering, but because we have to go slow when unraveling these past traumas, sometimes it can seem to take forever to arrive at actual healing. In my personal experience, it often felt like I would have a profound realization, make progress, and have a breakthrough. Instead of acknowledging and moving on, it was often revisited over and over in therapy sessions, which made real progress and spiritual healing seem to take forever to come to fruition.
- It may not be the best modality of healing for everyone
Healing is always going to be different for everyone. What works for one person might not always work for the next person, and this is why we have to be open-minded when it comes to new healing modalities. I am not, nor would I ever suggest, that everyone needs a therapist, a life coach, a shaman, or a religion. You see, some people have testimonials of healing using each of these modalities. So there truly is no one-size-fits-all solution. I found more pain through therapy and religion, haven’t tried a shaman, and found incredible healing through reading, absorbing various ideas and concepts and trying on what worked best for me, and getting real about what I wanted the most.
An Interesting Phenomenon that Happens when We begin Healing Emotional Wounds
There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens when we begin our journey to healing.
When we begin our journey to emotional healing, we may experience a range of emotions that we haven’t fully processed before. As we start confronting and addressing the root causes of our emotional pain, we may feel intense sadness, anger, or even fear. Often this can be overwhelming, which is a big reason many people fear beginning the process. And I get it because these emotions can be uncomfortable to face. However, they are a necessary part of the healing process. But rather than jumping right into healing your inner child, here are a few other ways you can begin to heal emotional wounds and promote personal growth that can be helpful for individuals who are not comfortable with the idea of healing their inner child.
Alternative Ways to Heal Emotional Wounds That You’ve Probably Never Thought Of
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that involves being present at the moment and observing thoughts and emotions without judgment. The key here is to observe without judgment, which is difficult to do. More pain and suffering are caused by the judgment we attach to events and feelings rather than the events themselves. But practicing mindfulness can be a catalyst for emotional healing because it helps develop greater self-awareness and self-compassion, two qualities that are required for personal growth.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude is the antidote for unhappiness, and yet when we are in a state of unhappiness, it’s often the last thing we think to do. Many people think gratitude is simply focusing on the positive aspects of life and expressing gratitude for them. However, true gratitude isn’t just saying, “I’m grateful for my kids and my husband.” The benefits of gratitude run deep into your soul when we can get extremely precise. Like so specific that someone else could actually feel the gratitude being expressed. This practice can help shift focus from negative emotions to positive ones, promoting emotional healing and resilience.
- Physical exercise
I have always been baffled that psychologists aren’t required to put patients on an exercise routine before prescribing antidepressants. There is study after study showing the correlation between mental and physical health, so I’m baffled that physical exercise isn’t woven into mental health practices (actually, I’m not really, but that’s for another post).
So besides highlighting all the benefits of physical exercise, which most people already know, here’s what physical exercise can do for you mentally.
It can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression because exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Physical activity can help to release pent-up emotions and tension in the body, allowing us to feel more relaxed and centered. There is also a direct correlation between sleep quality and physical activity. And if you’ve ever experienced bad sleep, you already know that sleep is essential for your emotional well-being because it plays a crucial role in regulating emotions.
But even beyond all those benefits, one of the most significant benefits that I experienced when I began to implement regular exercise into my life was that it led to a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. This newfound self-confidence helped me to tackle other areas of my life with greater ease and resilience.
- Creative Expression
Creative expression, such as writing, painting, acting, gardening or music, can provide an outlet for emotions and promote self-expression. Creative expression can also promote a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Furthermore, creative expression can help individuals gain insight into their own emotions and experiences. People can use these methods of creative expression to explore their thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way, which can lead to increased self-awareness, an important aspect of emotional healing. By engaging in creative expression, individuals can not only process their emotions but also discover new parts of themselves and their identity.
- Social Support
You can’t underestimate the healing power of positive relationships. When we armor ourselves against stress and anxiety with quality friendships, I truly believe we can weather many storms. A quality friend at the pivotal time can heal emotional wounds; this I am convinced of. I’ve mentioned the book before on my blog but Plays well with Others by Eric Baker highlights the importance of friendships on our overall well-being and happiness (and uses ample scientific studies to solidify his beliefs). The benefits of having a community that is supportive and loving are profound and worth pursuing. So while I’ve said it before, it bares saying again, building and maintaining positive relationships with friends, family, or community can provide the emotional support and sense of belonging that we need to improve our emotional well-being.
Overall, there are many alternative approaches to healing emotional wounds and promoting personal growth. It’s important to find an approach that feels authentic and meaningful to you and that aligns with your personal values and goals.
The modalities I’ve mentioned work well for those just starting on their journey, dipping their toes in the water, so to speak. While deeper work may be necessary, these are a good place to begin the journey. They work so well for people new to the healing process because they are focused on helping us do things that feel really good. And when we feel good, we become more inclined to keep digging deeper until we reach a point true emotional and spiritual healing.