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How to Unleash Your Inner Child and Become Happier

We wanted to grow up fast when we were kids. No more forced bedtimes or restrictions on how long we could play in the park. We thought grown-ups had it all figure out, sounding wise and authoritative with their mentions of jobs and profound answers to unrelenting questions.

Then adulthood arrives, and we realize our mistake. There is barely enough time to goof around with work and family. Sometimes, people get too overloaded with negative thoughts that it can lead to burnout, which can affect their health. The added stresses and responsibilities of life can make anyone take back their words and wish for a simpler time.

Childhood is a life stage without the worries and expectations of the grown-up world. Concerns revolve around what snacks to eat and what would happen in the next episode of one’s favorite cartoon. The world is a child’s playground, unafraid to befriend other kids and laugh with them. While it’s impossible to turn back time, adults can follow these tips to adopt certain traits and qualities children have to become happier.

Feed your creativity

woman sitting on sand

Children have active imaginations. They can see discarded cardboard boxes as the beginnings of a towering castle or a plane ready to fly to far-away lands. They can roleplay as an adventurer hunting for hidden treasure or as a dental surgeon fixing cavities of their beloved stuffed animals. Boundless creativity and curiosity are the norms in a child’s brain.

Adults should also let their passions run free, unshackled from thinking about its practicability or impracticability. More often, people are too serious about life and become stressed with no time to unwind. Pursuing hobbies and interests can bring joy and appreciation to one’s self and environment.

Be present

The human brain’s penchant for negative thinking is usually caused by ruminating on past events and overthinking future situations. Adults have the habit of focusing more on what-ifs, could-haves, and should-haves instead of concentrating on taking in the present. Children, on the other hand, are pros at living in the moment. They enjoy the current situation, whether it’s cuddling with mom while watching television or coloring outside the lines with crayons.

Psychotherapist Michael Formica outlines ways for adults to practice staying in the present. He suggests starting with taking a deep breath and letting it out through the nose. This action forces the person to become focused on their breathing, following its direction inside the body. Meditation and mindfulness techniques start with taking a long and deep breath, as well.

Don’t be afraid to trust and have faith

Children haven’t lost their sense of trust and wonder. They have faith in themselves, their parents, friends, and teachers. While it can be considered as being gullible, this deep sense of belief empties their mind of negative thoughts and feelings. They can concentrate on other things more worthy of their time than self-pity and cynicism.

Adults can regain their faith by surrounding themselves with people who have positive values and thinking. Through exposure and practice, thinking patterns can be changed for the better. Hope and inspiration are contagious, after all.

There are a lot of things adults can learn from children. Their sense of creativity, faith, and being in the present allows them to seek out new experiences and enjoy their lives.

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