It seems whichever news outlet you watch or read lately, they’re all painting a fairly bleak picture of the world. Throw in the everyday pressures of life and it really is little wonder that so many people – 1 in 4 – develop mental health issues or a feeling of overwhelm.
Obviously there’s more to it than that. But when there is an absence of hope, hopelessness isn’t a big emotional leap.
This got us thinking about what we could do to help in some small way, to help people feel better about themselves.
One of these ideas was finding (and uncaging) your inner child.
For those not in the know, the inner child is defined as a person’s original or true self, that often gets concealed by adulthood. After all, how many times are we told “not to do this or that” as a child and get disapproving looks as a teenager!
Or to put it another way; who we were before mortgage, rent, bills, pensions and car insurance became the biggest things in our orbit!
Sad but so very true for most of us.
So here are 5 ways you can find, unleash and nurture your inner child.
As we get older we’re increasingly governed by rules, boundaries and expectations set by others. Now some of these are important and are there for our own protection. Climbing up an electricity pylon is a terrible idea no matter how old you are.
But others are often imposed on us by society at the time. This is really important because whereas once a man was considered weak for crying – especially in front of his family – it is now considered a sign of a healthy emotional state. It is also far better for your mental health to cry than to not.
Expression also takes on many forms. If you’ve had the burning desire to write then do so. If you love nature then make a point of getting into the wilderness once a week or as often as is practical.
Don’t opinion, outmoded societal norms – when what the heck is normal anyway? Or fear what others think from living out loud. Because the only person that’ll regret it when you’re old is you.
That’s one of the first things that goes out of the window as we grow. Playing is for kids. Yes. And it’s awesome!
Whether you’re playing board games, a grown up game of tag, video games or a kick about in the park with your children, make sure play is a big part of your life.
It allows you to rest the neocortex (or logic centre in your brain) and give the limbic (the emotional part) a run around.
This is important as the limbic part of the brain is what controls our emotions and doesn’t have speech. It is purely driven by ‘gut instinct’. In other words it’s the part of our brain that tells us when something is instinctively right or wrong.
The reason why running around with your kids or messing around with your oldest friends feels right is because it is right. Your brain craves fun, so make time for it.
If you’re reading this and you feel tired to your core – even though you’ve slept well – it’s because you’re starved of fun and the oh-so happy hormones that fun produces.
Day dreamers were usually the kids who got told off in class for not paying attention. This isn’t strictly true – they just weren’t paying attention to the subject matter.
Daydreaming – much like play – allows the mind, again the neocortex, to relax and allows the brain to access both the memory centres of the brain as well as the creative parts too.
This is important as daydreaming actually affects the brains physical structure. So the more you do it, the better your memory becomes and the more creative you are.
Studies suggest that people who take a little time out to close their eyes and day dream are more productive as a result.
They also demonstrated higher than normal levels of empathy. This actually makes sense if the areas that control long term memory and creativity are being stimulated more regularly.
All this adds up to improved mood, better memory and improved creativity. Even improved job performance.
To be clear this doesn’t necessarily mean believe in a higher power although if you do, that’s fine and you’ll probably find this part a little easier.
By having faith we mean put your faith in people and in ideals. Believe in miracles and be open to the idea of the impossible.
In short, see the world through the eyes of a child. Watch Star Trek and – rather than roll your eyes at the warp drive, the phasers and the tri-corders; allow yourself to consider a future where those are everyday items.
The late Steve Jobs looked at the data pads and decided he didn’t want to wait 350 years so he invented the iPad. Which is actually better.
Having faith in people, innovation, our ability to do the right thing and our remarkable ability to always step back from the edge of a disaster (there’s historical precedence for this, we’re not being hyperbolic) will give you a more positive perspective.
When you feel positive, it is easier to cope with challenges and negative people. It also makes you more creative and more likable to be around.
Don’t put a price on Love
Love is a fantastic, powerful thing.
The love we feel for our partner, our friends, our children and our family drives us to work hard, sacrifice, make complete fools of ourselves or drive through the night to be there when it’s absolutely needed.
Yet so often we can be withholding of our love or attach conditions. Or worse still, hold grudges. It’s utterly exhausting.
Take a leaf from a child’s book and just love unconditionally. Hug your friends when they’d normally get a handshake.
Put as much love in the world as you possibly can and you’ll be surprised how much you get back.
Do all of those things and you might just unleash your long buried inner child and see the world in a whole new light.
We can’t promise that all your troubles will vanish but we hope that you’ll be able to see the positives and have a happier life as a result.
And if you ever feel like being at one with nature you’re always welcome to run through the fields and get lost in the maize maze and feed the animals.
We live locally to Farmer Palmers and have annual passes for our whole family. We’ve been visiting the farm for 6 years now (so I have lots of good things to say!) My younger daughter age 19 months loves it and so does her 6 year old sister! (My eldest also loved it as a toddler!)
It’s a farm, with all the usual farm animals you’d expect to see and more.
The indoor play area is done very well and my youngest and eldest daughter love it in there, soft play is also great for both ages.
Bouncy castles are kept clean and well maintained (let’s remember there’s a daily influx of small children who’ve spent the day running free range on a FARM so of course it’s got signs of being used!).
My daughters love it here, you have an array of activities to choose from woodland walks, soft play & bouncy castles. Guinea pig holding is a hit (happy well looked after Guinea pigs not cramped up in a pet shop. We were so happy with the standards of care we got our own guinea pigs from here!). Goat and lamb feeding (yes on busy days you don’t get a huge amount of time yet I haven’t heard a grumble from a single child). Not mention water sprinklers, Go carts which are suitable for both adults and small children, lovely picnic area and playground, seasonal pony rides and real milking demonstration (my eldest loves it!). There is decent home cooked food served in the cafe. Also a tractor ride available for a couple of £ you can even feed deer.
We’ve had several birthday parties here (so have my nephews and nieces age up to age 12!) and everyone loves it.
Considering the price of most family days out, I think Farmer Palmers is actually very good value for money, it’s a far cry from a theme park (thank goodness!) and I love spending time with my kids here throughout the year be it rain of shine!
Will be renewing our annual pass for the 3rd year this summer!
Thanks for endless entertainment!
W Beth 2019
Not a theme park a wonderful family farm
"Good place for the family lots to see and do. Clean and staff helpful. Could spend a day there with the kids and have a great time. Would recommend to everyone."
"An absolutely lovely farm, with the most perfect helpful, knowledgeable staff. We had an amazing day."
Allergy Awareness "We come and visit you every week and I was so pleased to see the "no food" notice up in the soft play areas. My son is anaphylaxis to dairy and peanuts. Thank you for raising awareness and helping my son to not be at risk!"
"The imagination and creativity with the play areas is just perfect. Today we fed the lambs and it was such a special moment, I've always wanted to do it and loved it!"
"The passes are fantastic value for money and whenever we come to Farmer Palmer's my children never want to leave. Staff are always very friendly and helpful."
Annual Pass Holder
"Even when it's pouring down, FP is a great place to come. Plenty to do under shelter and who doesn't love to put their wellies on and splash in muddy puddles! And for the mums and dads, the cake is amazing :)"
Sarah says "Food in the restaurant was lovely and the staff were friendly"
"A rare treat, a full day out and change!"
Value for money!
"We keep coming back with our grandchildren"
"We are big fans!! My little boy wakes up most mornings asking if he can go to Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park!!"
"It was amazing. From organisation to the staff,
who were fantastic, we were very pleased"
Team Farmer Palmer Fan
"Great family day out. Highly recommended!"
Holiday visitor to Dorset
"I can't recommend this wonderful place enough. It's an amazing little piece of paradise in Dorset."
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