This Quick Trauma Coping Exercise Can Help Heal Your Inner Child

Try this trauma-release exercise.

For the past two years, Howes has been working on this exercise. Follow along below:


Choose a childhood photo.

“I had a photo of my five-year-old self as my screensaver,” Howes notes. Try to find a photo from as far back as you can, then put it somewhere you’ll be sure to see it everyday. Howes chose a digital photo as his screensaver, but you can also print the photo out and tape it on your mirror. Choose whatever method works best for you.


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Identify painful memories.

You’ll want to start with one painful memory at a time, starting from the age of your photo. This may come easier to some than others, but you can use the assistance of journaling or talking with a trusted friend or family member to dive deep into the past.

Remember that no memory is too big or too small when it comes to trauma work. People often think a traumatic experience has to be quite catastrophic to impact them so many years later, but as physician and renowned speaker We dive deep into the topic here, but we’ll list out a few quick actions to consider below:

Nurture your creativity: Draw, garden, sit, read graphic novels, dance, or anything else you loved doing as a child. Collect something: Collecting what you find on a walk, on our way to the beach (sticks, rocks, shells), can be a way of reconnecting with your inner child. Journal: Write in your journal anything you’re feeling, how your day went, or ask your inner child how they’re feeling today. This doesn’t have to take up tons of time, but regular check-ins can be helpful.

The takeaway.

Healing your inner child can seem like an intimidating journey to begin. One way to start this process on your own is to identify painful memories, reflect on how they impacted you, and develop a new, more positive view of them and how they’ve contributed to your journey and who you are today.