Children need a reason to be unhappy. Adults need a reason to be happy. Why is it so?
Remember when you were a child your normal state of being was happiness and joy?
When you were a child something had to happen for you to be unhappy. Now, something has to happen in order for you to be happy. You don’t allow yourself to feel good or relaxed because you don’t feel you deserved it. With time it turns into a pattern and belief that feeling good has to be deserved. You need a specific reason to feel happy and relaxed. You don’t see feeling good and at ease as a natural way of being.
How do we try to get out of this constant dissatisfaction trap?
We end up building our lives around imagined things that will bring us happiness. We decide that if we buy something or achieve something we’ll finally arrive at the point of happiness.
What happens in reality?
We buy and achieve things but happiness about it appears to be fleeting. The very next moment or day, or week we are unhappy again and start chasing something else that will give us the feeling.
Just think about it, you established the rules and try to follow them. One of my clients who is still in her teens asked me once: “ Why am I feeling bad and guilty about feeling good when it’s not appropriate according to my mother.” This way we learn to judge ourselves for being naturally happy and in a positive mood.
Why do we lose this natural uplifted state with time?
1. You lose connection with yourself
One of the reasons is we move too far away from our real selves for the sake of what others expect us to be or what we expect ourselves to be. Society role-play and meeting expectations can be a dead-end road. We lose connection with our real unique talents, desires and interests.
2. Your brain thinks it protects you from real danger
Another reason is that your subconscious mind believes that negative emotions, stress and worry are helpful. Well, it used to be helpful when your ancestors had to escape from wild animals. But the chase didn’t last long, a person was either eaten or escaped from the threat and felt relaxed again. In the modern world, however, the “chase” is never ending and we end up in a constant state of stress and worry for years sometimes. You don’t allow yourself to relax as if being constantly stressed helps you.
How to stop putting pressure on yourself and become joyful and relaxed through connecting with your inner child?
You can change this pattern by changing your attitude to yourself and showing more empathy and understanding.
If you listen carefully, that child you once were is still there, muted. Pay attention to your inner child - the innocent, playful and curious part of you which is still there and has always been.
Try the below activity and you will be surprised how relieved and joyful you will feel once you are able to reconnect and hear your inner child. The more you practice it the more joy and happiness will come into your life. You will need to find a place where you feel comfortable and nobody will disturb you for about 10 minutes.
Step 1 - find your inner child:
For better focus close your eyes and turn within. Imagine your inner child: how old they are, how they look, how they feel.
Step 2 - start a conversation with your inner child:
Imagine your current self talking to your inner child and asking the questions below. You can come up with some other questions of yours.The answers and feelings that will surface will give you some valuable insights.
Questions to ask your inner child:
How are you feeling?
How can I make you feel good at this very moment?
What would you like me to do for you?
What would you like me to stop doing?
What should I be doing more of to keep you happy?
Step 3 - reconnect with your inner child:
Once you have answers to your inner child’s questions it’s time to befriend them and allow some time to attend to their needs. Think about what you could do to act upon the answers to your questions. Can you comfort your inner child now or should you schedule some time for a specific activity?
Here are the words that will help you befriend your inner child:
I love you.
I hear you.
You did your best.
I will take care of you.
I will protect you. You are safe with me.
You will feel more content, relaxed and joyful once your inner child starts healing. You will see a shift in your relationships with yourself. Taking care of your inner child is in fact taking care of the part of you that enables you to feel sincere joy and happiness.
P.S. I'll be happy to give you a free Coaching Consultation and provide some guidance on the action steps you can take now to become more connected to yourself.