Have you ever noticed that if you are having a cry about something that one of the first reactions of people around you is to try and get you to stop? Or that if you see someone crying you may even try to do the same?
Because crying is often associated with emotions we don’t like or find very difficult, such as sadness, anger or frustration, it’s understandable that we want any cry we have as a result of those feelings to be over with quickly. Or even not happen at all.
While I know that crying can actually be really draining and even gut wrenching (you know what I mean – when it feels like you are crying from the dark recesses of your soul…), the fact is that as a form of release, crying is right up there as being one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
Crying has many benefits that are physical – namely it flushes out the eyes and if you are crying hard enough even the nose! But it’s the emotional and psychological benefits of crying that can really help us move on from a situation that we may be finding difficult and challenging to deal with. This is particularly the case at times when grief, loss or intense sorrow has descended upon us quickly.
Some people say that a ‘stiff upper lip’ or being stoic in character is always the best and bravest option when dealing with difficult life circumstances. I disagree. Many times I have worked with counselling clients who have been intensely angry and upset about something to the point where they literally did not know what to do or where to turn. I have then asked them – “Have you ever had a cry about it? Really let it all hang out? Even scream, stamp your feet and cry all at once?” To some it may seem childish or even self indulgent but actually it’s a very smart and emotionally intelligent thing to do. Will it necessarily feel amazing while you are weeping or even mean you will bounce back from your negative feelings straight away? No. I can’t promise that.
What I can promise though is that when you truly FEEL what you are feeling and allow your heart, mind, body and soul to work as ONE entity, it means you express yourself with full AUTHENTICITY. When we feel deep sadness or anger or frustration and we supress those feelings and choke them down – we aren’t trusting ourselves enough to know that it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be angry and it’s ok to feel frustrated. Supressing what we truly feel can also only really last for so long as eventually the real emotions of what we have experienced in the past or are experiencing now – will surface.
The tricky part is that they may not surface as the original emotion. Supressed anger may eventually lead to depression. Supressed sadness may eventually lead into low self esteem and anxiety. Supressed frustration can lead to a deep turning inward on oneself and difficulties in relationships. It’s therefore not a risk at all to cry for fear you may lose control, or be considered weak or not handling a situation. The real risk is in actually not crying at all.
So…it’s ok to cry, baby. Remember that the next time you feel tears well in your eyes. Let them come and then let them go. They are there to tell you something. Also, let them come and go for others as well. It’s a wonderful thing to comfort someone when they are upset and crying but let their tears come as well.