By Coach Mel
There are things that are universally human and that should be treated as such. But, our society likes to put things in boxes and categorize them in such a way that we often forget what is basic to being a person. Crying is a big one that people tend to hear and immediately put in a gender box or associate with an adjective… women do that and men can’t; you’re weak; you’re too emotional; etc. Today we will talk about benefits of that pesky fluid that flows from your eyes.
I grew up in the weird world of gymnastics where, in my experience, you need to be emotionless. Crying is still something I feel weird doing in front of people even though I have typically surrounded myself with friends who are quite in touch with their emotions and see crying as what it is - therapeutic. So for me, this blog topic is typed with the fingers of formerly suppressed, non-public emotion-bearing soul, and researched with an open mind and want to understand crying and let others in on the secret.
At POINT we believe in the whole-self being healthy. Picking just the gym or just healthy food or just mental awareness is not enough. We need to create balance with them all.
Here is what can happen if you let those tears flow:
- You can tell emotions that they don’t scare you: If you got a big raise would you smile and be happy? If you saw a spider the size of your face would you be scared? If I told you a joke you would obviously laugh…! So why wouldn’t you give yourself the right to be sad? And to cry if that is what you felt like doing.
- Tears kill bacteria and improve vision!: Tears contain lysozyme, a fluid found in human milk, semen, mucus, and saliva which kills 90-95% of all bacteria in 5-10 minutes! Tears lubricate the eyelid and eyeballs keeping them moist and free of dust and debris. That something tohigh-five about.
- Tears can make you happier! They elevate your mood better than antidepressants: Studies have been done to show how crying is self-soothing and can improve themood of 90% of criers compared to the 8% of people who noted crying to make them feel worse. Crying triggers the brain to release endorphins - the feel-good hormones. crying is a way to deal with stress. Bottling it up only increases your stress and can increase your blood pressure, headaches, or general negative feelings.
- You can break down gender barriers that get in the way of this natural process: Both genders get flack for this one. If he cries, he’s a wuss, a little girl, not manly. If she cries, she’s menstrual, unstable, too emotional. Those who fight for their right to be emotional in public are setting a positive structure for our society and helping, one tear at a time, to make this not a big deal.
- Crying can help your communication: Ever felt like you just can’t fight the words and suddenly you can’t see because all the tears are fighting each other to make their escape? This can show a lot more than words sometimes. This can shift conversation and let others in on the importance of the topic if you were flailing with words.
There are lots of benefits to this natural release. If we let all preconceived notions about crying get in the way then we are depriving ourselves of the ability to be happier, more emotionally in-tune...and have cleaner eyes - it is our biological right to cry! Let’s put a stop to tears being seen as a weakness and let them be taken as a reflection on our ability to be mindful and internally strong. Because it is part of being human, for crying out loud.