Do you apologize to others for being happy or for being afraid? Sounds odd, right? But how many times have you apologized for crying in front of someone? Aha! I’m willing to bet almost every time.
Why? Why do we do this?? Crying is a human emotion. It’s no different than anger or fear or even joy. And yet we don’t apologize when we’re feeling happy. I mean, how many times have you heard, “Oh gee, I’m so sorry. I can’t seem to stop smiling. I’m SO embarrassed!” Uh, like NEVER!
I was raised by a dad whom I never saw cry. He certainly may have but he didn’t do it in front of me. My mom was just the opposite. When she was sad, frustrated or hurt, she openly cried. I was a momma’s girl so it’s no surprise I cry openly, too.
If you’re lucky enough to have two parents as a child/young adult, you had two role models in which to create your emotional behavior. If you related to the ‘unemotional’ one, then the one who cried is going to be perceived as a baby or weak. If you connected with the ‘emotional’ one, then the other one is going to be viewed as unfeeling or cold.
I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve heard, “She’s such a strong woman” or “I’m trying to be strong.” Both of these statements infuriate me as they imply that crying makes you weak. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with this archaic and untrue line of thinking. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, either. Crying (emotion) does not discriminate. Both genders should feel empowered to have a good ol’ crying jag without fear of being viewed as weak. Oye!!
When I’m seeing a new client, I cue them that they may have an “emotional release” while receiving Reiki. I let them know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed by the tears or hold them back. I tell them that crying is therapeutic and by crying it often triggers the healing process to begin.
The most common reason we cry is due to stress, sadness, grief, anxiety and frustration. But we also cry tears of joy or when we feel overwhelming relief. Is there a difference between the tears? Yes. According to several websites including 5 Health Benefits of Crying, there are more toxic byproducts in tears that are shed for emotional reasons than say, in response to an onion or the birth of a baby. Oh HO!
Something else I found interesting was if you were to compare crying to say sweating while exercising, the same detoxing and destressing process occurs. If you hold back your tears, you can increase your stress levels (duh). This can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, depression and fatigue.
Crying helps your mood. Plain and simple. Studies show a good cry can elevate your mood by releasing endorphins which allow your emotional and physical body to feel calm again.
It can help with cold and flu prevention, too. Tears contain natural antibacterial and antiviral solutions that work to fight the germs we get in our eyes. Our tears are capable of killing up to 95% of all bacteria that enter our eyes within minutes. What the WHAT?! WOW!
Last, but not least, tears literally enable us to see. Kind of a biggy, don’t you think? Tears moisten our eyes and prevent dehydration. You don’t say! Well then, how come every time after I cry my eyes feel like a sand pit?!
Crying is essential to healing grief as it helps us process loss. Tears are a sign of courage, strength and authenticity. I couldn’t agree more. Please remember that the next time you’re feeling embarrassed or ashamed of an emotion whose very purpose is designed to help us grow, heal and cleanse.