top of page
Search

How to heal your Anxious Inner Child

PEACE with Anxiety Podcast Episode 10

How to heal your Anxious Inner Child

In this episode join me as we explore the profound connection between the inner child and anxiety. Join me as we dive into what the inner child is, how it influences our present-day experiences, and why it matters in our journey towards healing from anxiety. Through real-life examples, we uncover the roots of anxiety in childhood experiences and offer insights for navigating inner child work. Plus, don't miss the exciting announcement about a 12-week free-from-anxiety program designed to empower women to heal from anxiety and reclaim their peace of mind. 

 

Listen as I talk about:

  • The concept of the inner child and its significance in shaping our present-day responses.

  • How our inner child responds to present-day triggers based on past hurts and insecurities.

  • Exploring how childhood experiences serve as the foundation for our adult perceptions and reactions.

  • Examples illustrate how unmet needs and unresolved wounds from childhood can manifest as anxiety in adulthood.


Click play to listen below:



What is the inner child?

Each of us has an inner child—a part of ourselves that carries the hopes, fears, and wounds of our childhood.

Our inner child doesn't just fade away as we grow older. Instead, it stays with us, influencing how we perceive and respond to the world around us, even into adulthood. And sometimes, that influence can manifest as anxiety.

You see, our inner child is an active participant in our present, carrying the emotional baggage of our past experiences into our adult lives. Those moments of joy, but also the pain, the trauma, the heartache—they all leave their mark on our inner child, shaping how we perceive and respond to the world around us. This reaction comes from a time when we lacked the tools and understanding to cope with distressing situations.


From the way we view ourselves and others to how we cope with stress and challenges, our childhood experiences shape our beliefs, feelings, behaviours, and reactions to the world around us.


Inner Child and Anxiety

Unmet needs, invalidated emotions and unresolved wounds from childhood can manifest as anxiety in adulthood. All a child needs is to be loved, seen, heard and acknowledged. Every child is completely dependent on the adults around it. These needs go beyond just food and shelter; they include emotional support, validation, and a sense of safety and belonging. Therefore when a child experiences a lack of love and validation, a history of trauma and neglect, or an environment characterized by chaos and instability, then anxiety becomes a coping mechanism to keep them safe from danger so they are always on high alert.


And here's where it gets really interesting: these unmet needs and unresolved wounds can act as triggers for anxiety. When something in your present-day life resembles a past experience where your needs weren't met, your inner child responds with fear, insecurity, or a desperate need for control, as if the past is happening all over again.


  • A child who crave validation and approval from their parents, but instead, they're met with criticism and disapproval at every turn. No matter how hard they try, it never seems to be enough to earn their parent's praise or affection. This constant rejection leaves them feeling unworthy and unlovable, making them insecure and doubting themselves.

  • A child who grew up in a household where emotional expression was not present and vulnerability was seen as a sign of weakness, learns to bury their feelings deep down, putting on a brave face even when they're hurting inside. But those buried emotions don't just disappear; they just stay hidden, and resurface as anxiety when faced with situations that require emotional openness and vulnerability.

  • A child who witnesses frequent arguments and conflict between their parents is left feeling scared and powerless. They learn to tiptoe around their parent's unpredictable moods, never knowing when the next outburst might occur. This constant state of hypervigilance and uncertainty becomes their baseline, leading to heightened anxiety in adulthood as they struggle to feel safe and secure in their relationships and continues to shape their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours as adults.


Unmet needs and unresolved wounds can act as triggers for anxiety

  • If you experienced rejection from a caregiver as a child or had a parent who was emotionally distant or unavailable, and the only thing you wanted was their love and attention, but no matter what you did, it never seemed to be enough to earn their affection. Then now, as an adult, you find yourself constantly seeking approval and validation from others, or you strive for perfection because you might be afraid of being abandoned once again. You bend over backwards to please people, putting their needs before your own, all in a desperate attempt to fill that void left by childhood rejection. But deep down, you still fear that you're unworthy of love and acceptance, which causes you more anxiety and self-doubt.

  • If you grew up in a household where conflict was the norm—a constant battleground between your parents. Their arguments were loud and frequent, leaving you feeling scared and helpless. You learned to associate confrontation with chaos and pain, and as a result, you developed a deep-seated fear of conflict. Now, as an adult, you avoid confrontation at all costs, going to great lengths to keep the peace and maintain harmony in your relationships. But this avoidance only serves to suppress your true feelings and needs, leading to underlying anxiety and resentment.


 

Need more anxiety support with your anxious inner child?


Apply for a 30-minute FREE Anxiety Relief Call to explore working with me as a private client https://www.ireneevangeloutherapy.com/free-anxiety-relief-call


Join our Facebook group!


Join the FREE 21-Day Relieving Anxiety Meditation Challenge  here 


DOORS ARE NOW OPEN TO THE 12-week RTT Program

If you are DONE with anxiety and self-doubt holding you back from living life to the fullest. if you're ready to rapidly shift out of the thoughts and feelings that keep you stuck. If you're ready to create unstoppable self-belief and unshakeable inner confidence. APPLY  TODAY! Special bonuses are limited to the first 5 members  https://forms.gle/RXaNaZq21G32QBdt6


Love this post? Save it for later:



 

Full Transcript


Hello and Welcome back to episode 10 of the PEACE with Anxiety Podcast. In today’s episode, we are diving into a fascinating aspect of anxiety which is the role of our inner child. We will start by explaining what is the inner child, how it relates to anxiety and how it shapes our daily behaviours and feelings. And I want to start by asking you to think back to your childhood. Remember those moments of joy, but also the times of sadness, fear, or loneliness? Well, those experiences are not just distant memories—they're the building blocks of who we are today. You see, each of us has an inner child—a part of ourselves that carries the hopes, fears, and wounds of our childhood. Now, here's where it gets interesting. Our inner child doesn't just fade away as we grow older. Instead, it stays with us, influencing how we perceive and respond to the world around us, even into adulthood. And sometimes, that influence can manifest as anxiety. Think about it. Have you ever found yourself reacting to a situation in a way that felt disproportionate to the present moment? Maybe you felt a surge of fear or unease that seemed to come out of nowhere. Chances are, your inner child was at the helm, responding to present-day experiences based on past hurts or insecurities. So understanding the connection between our inner child and anxiety is the first step towards healing. By acknowledging the role of our past in shaping our present, we can begin to uncover the roots of anxiety and reclaim our peace of mind.


So, how do we recognize when our inner child is calling the shots? Pay attention to those moments when your emotions feel especially raw or intense. Notice any patterns or triggers that seem to set off your anxiety. And above all, approach yourself with kindness and compassion. Your inner child deserves to be heard and understood, not dismissed or ignored.


As you listen to this episode, I can understand that it may seem a bit cringy or weird talking about our inner child, but I would invite you to keep an open mind to this idea of the inner child and let’s see how it relates to anxiety and why it may benefit us recognising its impact on our daily lives. So stay tuned, my lovely listeners, as we continue to explore the profound connection between our inner child and anxiety.


Alright, Picture this: you're going about your day, everything seems fine, but suddenly, out of nowhere, anxiety pops up. You feel that familiar knot in your stomach, the racing thoughts, sweaty palms, clenched jaw and the overwhelming sense of dread. But you’re thinking why now? What triggered this wave of anxiety? Well, sometimes, it can be your inner child trying to tell you, "Hey, I'm still here, and I've got some unresolved stuff to deal with." You see, our inner child is an active participant in our present, carrying the emotional baggage of our past experiences into our adult lives. Those moments of joy, but also the pain, the trauma, the heartache—they all leave their mark on our inner child, shaping how we perceive and respond to the world around us. This reaction comes from a time when we lacked the tools and understanding to cope with distressing situations. So, when something in the present triggers those old wounds or unresolved emotions, your inner child responds often with anxiety, as if the past were happening all over again. That's why seemingly insignificant events can sometimes evoke such strong emotional reactions. It's not just about what's happening now; it's about what happened then, too.

But here's the thing: by understanding this connection between our inner child and our anxiety, we can begin to heal. We can start to recognize the signs of our inner child's influence—the patterns, the triggers, and the moments when our reactions feel out of proportion to the situation at hand. And once recognise those patterns, we can begin to make sense of them, separate the past from the present, and reclaim our peace of mind. It's not easy work, but it's so worth doing. So, I want to encourage you to reflect on your own experiences. When has your inner child made an unexpected appearance in your adult life? What triggers tend to set off your anxiety?


You see, our childhood experiences are like the building blocks of our adult selves. Whether they were moments of joy and love or times of pain and struggle, they all left a lasting imprint on our minds. From the way we view ourselves and others to how we cope with stress and challenges, our childhood experiences shape our beliefs, feelings, behaviours, and reactions to the world around us. Whatever your memories may be, they've all played a part in shaping who you are today.

But here's the thing: it's not just the big, dramatic moments in our childhood that left a mark. Even seemingly small events can have a profound impact on our development. A harsh word from a teacher, a feeling of rejection from a friend, or the absence of a supportive parent figure—all of these experiences contribute to how we view ourselves and the world.


Now, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with anxiety? Well, it’s kind of all connected. You see, when our inner child encounters a present-day trigger that resembles a past experience, it reacts as if the past is happening all over again. So, those old wounds reopen, and you may find yourself caught in a cycle of anxiety and distress.

So, take a moment and think of your own childhood experiences. What moments stand out to you? How have they influenced the way you perceive yourself and the world around you? How do they affect your relationships? Ok?

Alright, let's break it down even further. At the root of many anxiety issues often lies a hurt inner child with unmet needs, unresolved wounds and invalidated emotions. Ok, picture a child, any child, all it wants is to be loved, seen, heard and acknowledged. Every child is completely dependent on the adults around it. These needs go beyond just food and shelter; they include emotional support, validation, and a sense of safety and belonging.


Now, what happens when these needs are not met? Let me give you some examples.

Imagine you're a child who craves validation and approval from your parents, but instead, you're met with criticism and disapproval at every turn. No matter how hard you try, it never seems to be enough to earn their praise or affection. This constant rejection leaves you feeling unworthy and unlovable, making you insecure and doubting yourself.

Or perhaps you grew up in a household where emotional expression was not present, and vulnerability was seen as a sign of weakness. You learn to bury your feelings deep down, putting on a brave face even when you're hurting inside. But those buried emotions don't just disappear; they just stay hidden, and resurface as anxiety when faced with situations that require emotional openness and vulnerability.

Now, let's consider a different scenario. Imagine you're a child who witnesses frequent arguments and conflict between your parents, leaving you feeling scared and powerless. You learn to tiptoe around their unpredictable moods, never knowing when the next outburst might occur. This constant state of hypervigilance and uncertainty becomes your baseline, leading to heightened anxiety in adulthood as you struggle to feel safe and secure in your relationships and continues to shape your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours as adults.


These are just a few examples of how unmet needs and unresolved wounds from childhood can manifest as anxiety in adulthood. Whether it's a lack of love and validation, a history of trauma and neglect, or an environment characterized by chaos and instability, anxiety becomes a coping mechanism to keep you safe from danger so you are always on high alert


And here's where it gets really interesting: these unmet needs and unresolved wounds can act as triggers for anxiety. When something in your present-day life resembles a past experience where your needs weren't met, your inner child responds with fear, insecurity, or a desperate need for control. For example, let's say you experienced rejection from a caregiver as a child. a parent who was emotionally distant or unavailable. You wanted their love and attention, but no matter what you did, it never seemed to be enough to earn their affection. Now, as an adult, you find yourself constantly seeking approval and validation from others, or you strive for perfection because you might be afraid of being abandoned once again. You bend over backwards to please people, putting their needs before your own, all in a desperate attempt to fill that void left by childhood rejection. But deep down, you still fear that you're unworthy of love and acceptance, which causes you more anxiety and self-doubt. Or perhaps you grew up in a household where conflict was the norm—a constant battleground between your parents. Their arguments were loud and frequent, leaving you feeling scared and helpless. You learned to associate confrontation with chaos and pain, and as a result, you developed a deep-seated fear of conflict. Now, as an adult, you avoid confrontation at all costs, going to great lengths to keep the peace and maintain harmony in your relationships. But this avoidance only serves to suppress your true feelings and needs, leading to underlying anxiety and resentment.


But here's the good news: by uncovering these underlying factors, we gain a greater understanding of why we react the way we do and how we can begin to heal. So, let me ask you What unmet needs or unresolved wounds from your childhood stayed within you? How do they show up in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours as an adult?

I know that getting in touch with our inner child and addressing past wounds can feel scary, to say the least. However, when we understand our inner child, we then can begin to understand why we sometimes respond in a non-logical, out-of-proportion way to the events in our current life. This work is transformative and powerful, and I love working in this way with my clients because they begin to see that anxiety is not the problem. They begin to see anxiety as a very small, scared, vulnerable child. And once they do that, they begin to relate to that young child in a compassionate way. So anxiety is no longer this massive scary thing, but it becomes an expression of the underlying root cause, which usually comes from these unmet needs—feeling not enough, not feeling worthy or lovable, and that constant fear of never having what we want. Now as a therapist, i give my clients lots of strategies to regulate their nervous system, however in order to stop feeling overwhelmed by the anxiety, the inner work is of utmost importance. Because every tool is undoubtedly useful and beneficial, but it doesn’t address the root cause of anxiety. This can only be done with therapy. So it’s really important to look at the root cause of anxiety, regulate our nervous system, and understand why there is a part of us that is triggered when feeling anxious.


So for today’s practice, I would encourage you to seek professional help from your own therapist. You do not have to be alone on this journey. A therapist can help you navigate the inner child work so you can finally begin to heal and become free from anxiety, calm and confident and if you don’t have one, feel free to contact me by booking a free 30-minute call.


And before you go, I have an exciting announcement to share with you. I am currently seeking five women who are so done with anxiety and self-doubt holding them back from living life to the fullest. So if you're ready to rapidly shift your thoughts and feelings that keep you stuck. If you're ready to create unstoppable self-belief and unshakeable inner confidence. I have a 12-week free-from-anxiety program and I can only take 5 women who are ready to heal from anxiety and are fully committed to investing in themselves. We are going to uncover the root cause of anxiety, heal your inner child and give you strategies to reduce stress and regulate your nervous system in the 12-week RTT program. If that sounds like something you want to do, then please use the link in the show notes to apply for the program. Don't let anxiety hold you back any longer—take control of your journey to healing and empowerment today.

Thank you for joining me today. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourselves.

Comments


bottom of page