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Tears streamed down my face before 9:30 a.m this morning. Now, I consider myself a strong, self-reliant, and resilient person. And yes, being strong often means holding the weight of our emotions while releasing a real river-flood-cry.
After a messy yet beautiful 5-minute howl, I sat back in my chair feeling at ease. My analytical brain suddenly fired up and my mind wandered. Why do we cry? What type of tears are there? Does it have any health benefits? What hormones are involved? But the most pressing question that jolted me:
Why do we suppress our tears?
That’s when I turned to a trusted ol’ friend: My journal.
Let me tell you, a proper sob and brain-dump are much like a computer after clearing the cache – the performance and processing speed remarkably improves. I poured my soul onto the pages, decluttered my thoughts, and used the extra space to explore some answers. Here’s what I found:
Firstly, crying is part of our human emotional package!
Secondly, being resilient means one adapts well in the face of adversity. Being self-reliant means one has the power to find solutions to a seemingly impossible situation. And being strong means one has the courage to face the situation with confidence. These are key characteristics you need to develop if you want to reach your goals.
Lastly, when you commit to your purpose, you welcome challenges with open arms, develop strategies, and take action to overcome hardship.
My purpose for today is to remind you that it’s okay to embrace your natural human responses. Just let it happen. Hold space for your emotions. Unplug for a week if that’s what you need. And if you feel crying shows weakness, I’m hoping these 3 amazing science-backed benefits of a good river-flood-cry will change your mind:
Crying reduces distress
A 2014 study shows that crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps us calm down.
Crying relieves pain and stress
Science confirms that in addition to the self-soothing effect, releasing emotional tears secretes oxytocin and endorphins. As a result, you’re overwhelmed with a sense of well-being.
Crying enhances mood
Oxytocin and endorphins are known as the “feel-good” chemicals, which is why when you release the tears your mind feels clear and your spirit high.
Tell me, when last did you have a proper sob?