In a culture that is so deprived of feeling our emotions, melted in shame and disapproval for difficult feelings, it is no surprise that crying is occasionally also seen as weak and discouraged. And yet, as a culture, we deprive ourselves of something that is so natural, so physiologically and psychologically rewarding to our mind and body.
NOT ONLY DOES CRYING FEEL GOOD, BUT IT IS ALSO PHYSIOLOGICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY GOOD FOR OUR US.
When we deprive ourselves of our emotions and our tears, we are cutting ourselves off from our aliveness and humanness. We are cutting ourselves off from basic human connection-- the connection of touching the raw space within our body needed to heal and transform. By connecting to ourselves through appreciation and kindness, we are able to let emotions and tears move in an organic and raw way and in turn open our heart toward ourselves and others.
** I will add that crying numerous times a day for a long period of time is different from the once in a while cry that I talk about in this post. If you feel that you've been stuck and in a state of depression for a while, please reach out to me or to another human that can offer assistance and support. Know that you're not alone and we are here for you. **
Benefits of Crying
- Crying lowers stress: Tears are your bodies way to release stress. It also allows us to release anxiety, sadness, grief and frustration. Crying allows us to release emotions that have been built up, and allows our emotions to flow freely so they don't get stuck in our body. Not only does it physically feel good to release, emotional tears also shed stress hormones and other toxins that accumulate during stress.
- Tears kill bacteria, remove toxins and irritants: Apparently tears contain a antibacterial and antiviral agent called lysozome that kill 90 to 95% of bacteria in our body. Pretty amazing.
- Crying can elevate mood : When we cry, we stimulate the production of endorphines, which is our "feel good" hormones. Some studies have even shown that crying is more effective than some antidepressants. Tears also contain protein-based hormones such as prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone and leucine enkephalin (natural pain killers) excreted when the body is under stress.
- Calms the body: amazingly, our heart rate and breathing slows down after crying and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state.
- Contains antibodies to fight pathogenic microbes
Crying means that you're alive... please, never apologize for crying. If anything, it is our culture that has taught us that crying is weak and that crying means we're not powerful. It is exact opposite. To be powerful means to take care of your body, to come alive and let your body heal in ways to sustain the life you want to live. Healing yourself means you're healing the planet ... and that's just really, really awesome : )