People do find it difficult to cry. A visible display of private emotion, it is something we tend to repress. But it’s important to remember that we came into this world crying. Our first breaths were through tears. As grieving patients speak in their sessions, I can see their pain, sadness, and frustration. This is when I tell them, “It’s okay to cry… it’s good for you”. The “permission” to cry offers a much-needed release. Many people do not think their situation warrants crying. They may feel that crying is showing weakness, but that is not true.
Crying shows that you have feelings and that you care. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a relationship break-up, or frustration with how your life is going, your tears signal real emotional pain and, paradoxically, help to soothe that pain. Tears should not be judged but rather embraced. You should feel proud to be vulnerable to feelings, and find strength in not being “embarrassed” when showing them..
The reality is that tears offer many benefits not only for your mind but also for your body. A Healthline article describes some benefits of crying which include:
- Detoxification of the body
- Dulling pain
- Improving mood
- Gathering support
- Help in recovering from an emotional event
- Restoring emotional balance
Let’s run through some of the benefits above with details that may help you understand them better.
- Detoxification of the body– When we cry and release emotions, there is a release of oxytocin (the “love hormone”). This increases calmness and a general sense of well-being and decreases anxiety. Oxytocin helps make you feel calmer, helping to dull the pain and restore emotional balance.
- Self-soothing– crying triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which helps our body relax and conserve energy
- Improving mood– Your faster breathing when crying increases your intake of cool air which can help moderate your brain temperature; a cooler brain helps make you feel better
- Gathering support– Many times when we hold emotions in, we can become unapproachable, but when people see us cry they see our vulnerability, and need for support. This encourages them to approach us and offer help.
So, the bottom line is CRY IT OUT! It’s normal, healthy, and necessary. As psychotherapists, we hope that our work with patients helps them rediscover themselves while becoming comfortable with their emotions, what their emotions mean, and how they handle them. Your therapeutic sessions are a place to feel free, safe, and rediscover who you are and what you want out of life. This is your life so make it what YOU want!
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation or to book an appointment.