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Often when we look at young children, the first thing that comes to mind is their innocence and vulnerability, eager to protect them from the world. What we fail to remember is that, at a young age, we possessed incredible gifts and talents that we have allowed to fade away in time.

That’s right, while we see ourselves as far better off – educated, mature and capable of handling the world around us – there are some incredible gifts that we have lost as we aged. These gifts promoted better mental health and allowed us to see the world form a unique point of view. By recognizing that which we have lost, we can take steps to once again get in touch with our inner child and reignite the strengths that we once possessed.

Check out these 12 incredible abilities we were all born with, but often neglect:

#1 – Your Generosity

As children, we aren’t yet spoiled by the greed and ‘me mentality’ that permeates our society. Instead, we are far more in touch with our biological needs and those of the people that we meet. We give because it feels good, not because we have something to gain from it. However, as our intentions change this natural generosity is lost.

#2 – Your Sense of Humor

While some people hold onto their childlike sense of humor well into adulthood, most of us grow up trading in jokes and laughter for responsibility and career goals. You can increase your happiness by simply tapping into this innocent form of humor. Embrace the silly jokes… ‘Orange ya gonna laugh’?

#3 – Your Inner Peace

As a child we take delight and comfort at the moment, living for today and embracing our inner peace. However, in time, this peace is replaced by adult responsibilities and the stresses of society. Our minds are constantly on the go, never truly shutting down. Take some time to clear your mind and enjoy this inner peace once again.

#4 – Your Self-Confidence

Ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, and you will quickly find yourself reminded of the unwavering self-confidence that we possess at a young age. Growing up, reality begins to creep in, creating limiting beliefs. No longer do we dream of being an astronaut or the ‘President of the World’, allowing society to negatively impact our goals and dreams.

#5 – Your Intuition

If you’ve ever had that ‘gut feeling’ that something was off or that you should avoid a specific situation, this is your intuition at work. This gift works to protect you, guide you and care for you each and every day. While your intuition will get stronger and more accurate if you’re listening to it, it will weaken if it is ignored.

#6 – Your Decisiveness

We often get ourselves into trouble as a child because we are quick to act on whatever feels right at the moment, making snap decisions without so much as a hesitation. As we grow up we start analyzing and thinking before we act. While there is certainly a benefit to the consideration of the consequences of our actions, we need to find a balance to avoid overthinking and avoiding action altogether.

#7 – Your Ability to Meditate

You may not realize it, but most children actually practice meditation and mindfulness naturally, focusing their attention on the here and now, clearing their mind of negativity. This is why children are naturally so happy and full of joy. As we become busy adults, we need to schedule time in to continue this highly beneficial practice.

#8 – Your Ability to Hold Your Breath

Instinctively as a child, we often hold our breath for periods of time. We don’t realize we’re doing it, and it certainly isn’t a conscious decision for the benefits, but we benefit regardless. However, as we become more aware of what we’re doing every day we see the act of holding our breath as abnormal. However, experts say that breath control is associated with mental stability, calmness, improved energy, and greater focus.

#9 – Your Belief in the Greater Good

When we are children, we see the best in everyone that we meet. Innocent and naïve, we believe that everyone we meet is naturally good, unaware of the darkness and evil that exists in the world around us. As we grow, our eyes are opened to the harsh truth, and this belief in the greater good is tainted.

#10 – Your Conscience

Your conscience is your awareness of what is right and wrong in the world, your awareness of your morals and beliefs. As we grow up we often push this aside, justifying lapses in judgment as we seek the ‘best’ path to achieve success. However, if we stop and listen to our conscience it will help us to stay on the right moral path.

#11 – Your Creativity and Imagination

As a child, anything is possible. There is no matching the imagination of a child, where the floor can instantly become molten lava and something as simple as a box can be entertaining for hours. There are a number of health benefits associated with creativity including improved mental health and a boosted immune system. Learn to play an instrument, pick up painting or simply turn on some music and dance.

#12 – Your Non-Verbal Communication Skills

There was a time that you were completely incapable of communicating what you needed using a verbal language, relying instead on hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions. However, as soon as we start forming words and sentences this skill begins to fade. Improve your communication skills overall by once again focusing on this non-verbal communication.

Image via Evensi