It’s Okay to Cry

“It’s okay to cry!” my son sometimes tells me and I always find comfort in those words.
large round 'smiley' face that is crying

Then, there are times when a person just hasto cry! Whether it’s mourning the loss of a loved one. Depression. A sad movie or story. Words from another. What ever the reason, sometimes its just good to cry.  Can you relate to that? Do you agree?

I also feel that crying is like our “overflow valve” to release the heavy stuff from our hearts. Once it’s released, it frees up room so we can take on more or move forward more freely.

Do you ever wonder why we cry? For me, crying is like a cleansing. Right? Do you feel that too? That crying is our “overflow valve” to release the dark painful emotions from deep within? I can feel those things boil up inside and then pour forth. Once released, it frees up room so we can take on more or simply move forward more freely.

Tears can flow like a river. Sometimes uncontrollably. Sometimes with intent. Have you ever felt the need to cry, just to have a good cry? Yes? No? Does that sound like a crazy question? Let me share an experience with you, from my world, which happened over five years ago.

Life was great! Everything was playing out better than I had planned. I was extremely happy with life and yet, I had a deep desire or need to cry. I found that “crying sensation” to be really strange, because I was not sad at all. Like I said, life was great and I had no complaints. So why did I feel such a strong need to cry?

As I was experiencing that ‘need-to-cry’ sensation, I was also discovering a new way of living. A new way of life. What I mean is, more and more often, I was listening to “me” for my needs/wants/desires, rather than listening to others. Rather than looking ‘out there’ for answers, I went within. And for what ever reason(s), my within was wanting a good cry.

What was I to do about this situation? This crazy need to cry, when I was actually feeling quite happy. Well, I started watching drama movies on YouTube. Movies with a plot that was sure to bring tears. And I did this movie scene every night for a long time. I didn’t keep track, but I’d say for many months, I looked forward to a good cry with a good movie. I was beginning to wonder about what was happening to me. Happy by day and a need to cry by night. How crazy is that?

black background with a white circle face crying

I began to ask the internet if others ever felt this way. This need to cry, when life is otherwise good, grand and glorious. I mean, I was not depressed. I know about depression for I once lived the depressed life for decades. No, I was not depressed!  And in my exploring the web, I discovered there is a need to use all your emotions evenly, to keep an internal balance. A good cry is a healthy cry.

There are 3 types of tears:

  1. Basal: We always secrete these tears. They help keep the eyes moist and healthy.
  2. Reflex: Irritants like wind, smoke and even onions trigger these tears for cleansing.
  3. Emotional: These tears release to a range of emotions and they contain a high level of stress hormones.

Other benefits to crying:

Self-soothing. Based on this 2014 study “Is crying a self-soothing behavior?”, crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps people to relax. What is self-soothing? It’s when people regulate their own emotions, they calm themselves by reducing their own distress.

Helps to relieve pain and enhances mood. Research shows, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins.  Oxytocin and endorphins (known as “feel-good” chemicals) can help improve mood.

Releases toxins and relieves stress. When we cry due to stress, our tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals. More research is needed, but it is believed that this type of crying could also reduce stress.

Better sleep. This is an obvious benefit, for if you ever had yourself a good cry, you know how exhausting it can be. However, a small study  is showing that crying can help a baby sleep better.
a crying baby laying on its back, hands in the air, eyes shut

Fights bacteria. Tears contain a fluid called lysozyme, which helps to keep the eyes clean.

Improves vision. Every time you blink, you produce basal tears, which helps to keep the eyes moist and helps prevent mucous membranes from drying out. Vision can become blurry, if those membranes become dry.

And perhaps the most interesting thing about crying….humans are the only ones who do it. Were you aware of that? That’s huge! So, if humans have the ability to cry, then we certainly must have a need to cry. Agree?

Think about it a moment. Have you ever had a good cry over a harsh situation? Maybe a situation where you cannot see a clear answer. Then after the cry, the tears are dried and you feel better, you begin to see things from a different perspective. You start to see a resolve to that harsh situation. In other words, a good cry helps clear the mind as it flushes out the harshness of the situation.  A good cry relieves that heavy stressed feeling and allows you to function more freely. A good cry allows you the sensation that it is okay to ‘feel’. After all, you are human!

CONCLUSION: During one of the most happiest times of my life, I had the strong desire to cry. So I did! For me, I found it to be a needed act in order to bring a healthy emotional balance to my life. Often people will fight the need to cry and they shouldn’t. There is nothing shameful about crying. It’s not just for babies! Men and women both have the ability and the need to cry.

How about you? What are your experiences with tears? Were you aware of the benefits to crying? I wasn’t….

I thank you greatly for reading along and always injoy your comments,
ren

Thanks Pixabay.com for images

Resources:

Benefits to crying

2014 study : is crying self-soothing

Crying babies study

Why you need to cry

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