“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving
Crying is not a sign of weakness.
Crying can often be a coded message, especially when you can’t find the words to tell someone how you are feeling, so the overwhelming need to connect and share that hidden message can sometimes be shared through crying. When you cry in front of others, most people will ask you if you’re ok? Won’t they? Without words, but tears you can make an emotional connection with others. It’s not a sign of weakness.
Crying can help relieve stress and release toxins.
Crying can help with our emotions as well as cleanse our body too. When we cry because of stress and anxiety, the tears we produce eradicate those chemicals that raise cortisol, known as the stress hormone. A research study conducted by Dr. William H.Frey II, a biochemist and director of the Psychiatry Research Laboratories at St, Paul-Ramsey Hospital and Medical Centre in Minnesota, discovered that like other exocrine processes that include exhaling, sweating and urinating, toxic substances are released from the body when we cry. The chemicals present in emotional crying are the protein prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones and the pain reducing endorphin leucine-enkephalin. So, crying is good for our mental and emotional health. It IS ok to cry.
Crying can improve your mood?
In 2008 a study from The University of South Florida indicated that crying can elevate mood better than any anti-depressant and can be self-soothing. 90% of criers reported an improvement in mood compared to 8% who said it made them feel worse. Unusually in this study, those with anxiety or mood disorders were less likely to experience positive effects of crying unlike the previous study. It is all about the state of mind and how you perceive the act of crying, whether or not it is spontaneous or sending a hidden message. Much to consider here.
There are three types of tears when we cry.
- Continuous flow of tears that keep the surface of the eye moist to protect again any type of infection.
- Tears of irritation – like chilli or onions!
- Emotional tears that we shed that have a positive chemical that promotes a healthier mind.
Reasons why it’s ok to cry.
Letting it all out with a good cry is a great way to get rid of sadness, anxiety, aggression, general upset and so forth. Carrying around emotional baggage and a weight on your shoulders is no good for anybody. It can affect your mental health. So let it all out. Pretending everything is ok when it isn’t doesn’t solve your problems, so if you feel the need and want to cry – go for it. You’ll feel better after it otherwise your feelings will fester inside.
We know from research that crying releases toxins from our body and kills bacteria. The body’s natural defense mechanism kicks in and tells us both emotionally and physically something is wrong. Our body’s know when we need protection, it gives us signs, not just the emotional ones, but signs that help to keep our immune system alive and kicking to fight off nasty infections. So, it’s OK to cry because you are healing yourself with your own medication. The magic of tears.
Crying is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system claims Lauren Bylsma, University of South Florida. There is strong evident to support the need for crying in order to release stress hormones from the body. That’s why crying feels good, sometimes. So, remember it IS ok to cry!
Confronting your feelings can help you move on with, and in life. We all face difficulties during our lifetime. Whether it be linked with work, loved ones or personal dilemmas. If we do not face these challenges then we do not experience growth and we are not prepared for the next set of hurdles that may confront us. Face the fears at that time. Do not let them fester as they will return to cause you pain, hurt, anger or even worse, emotional and mental health problems. When we are hurt it’s good to cry, to release the shackles that bind us to difficult memories and traumatic experiences. They may never go away, but through crying you can release some of the internal pressures.
“Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears” – Albert Camus
Expressing your emotions can help your creativity.
For artists, writers, musicians and those who have creativity as part of their life’s expression, crying and the emotions connected with an event can often end up in your art. Life struggles, tears of joy, emotional tears triggered by an event, film or conversation. They can be opportunities for artistic people to express themselves through personal reflection which is then channeled in the final piece of artistic expression. I have read many blogs where individuals have shared their experiences in a very personal way. They are powerful, personal and passionately written. Some even share those moments when they cried and this helped with their writing making authentic and personal.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to hold back the tears especially in front of a friend, your partner or a member of your family. But, being vulnerable is often the best way to grow closer to another person. Don’t say everything is ok when it’s not. Be truthful and honest to yourself. If you want to cry, cry. Sometimes it’s your hidden message to say that everything isn’t ok, but you just can’t find the words to explain why things are not fine. Crying can hold a thousand hidden words and messages that another person can pick up on. Human beings are clever at decoding some signs, especially through the tears of another. The ones that care for you will read your message well and reach out to you. They are the ones you want in your life, not the ones who cannot read your coded cry.
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise writer, no surprise reader” – Robert Frost
Why I feel it’s ok to cry.
I often cry on my own.
I cry on my own because I know my body and my mind needs to release torment, worry, or emotional upset.
I cry on my own when I see images that stir an internal emotional response.
I cry on my own when people are unkind, rude or are insensitive to my personal needs.
I cry on my own when I am angry and work through why I am feeling that way.
I cry on my when I am still grieving the death of my grandfather.
I cry on my own when I am frustrated with my own lack of mobility at times.
I cry on my own when I miss my loved one.
I cry on my own when some days are grey and I can’t see the light.
I cry on my own when others have shared their own troubles with me.
I cry on my own when I am tired and exhausted.
I cry on my own when I have regrets.
I cry on my own when I am happy and grateful for so many wonderful things.
I cry on my own when music touches my soul.
I only cry when I have the need to cry. Knowing that need is a powerful gift. I am not ashamed of crying.
“Crying is cleansing. There’s a reason for tears, happiness or sadness.” – Dionne Warwick
Check out Kate Nicholson’s Tedx Talk on ‘The Crying Game’. An insightful talk on crying.
Because I know the power of crying I am not fearful of crying on my own. I cry with others, and in front of others, with no shame or embarrassment. I know the power of crying cleanses my mind and body.
I also laugh a tremendous amount in my daily life and the balance between crying and laughing gives me purpose and hope to carry on – even on days when everything is grey.
“What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul” – Jewish Proverb.
I have learned to ride the waves of mental and emotional wellbeing, and I hope you will too after reading this.
I’d love to know your thoughts.