When it comes to the topic of crying, I have a lot of experience.
I was raised differently than most. My father was a single parent and I was homeschooled until I was eight years old. He did his best to teach me the way of the world, key truths of spirituality and mathematics, often over breakfast or during our walks through the park.
He made it clear to me that emotions should never be swallowed or hidden. If I was ever feeling anything I should show it. But he also did things like cut out the bad parts of movies so that I wouldn’t get sad or be exposed to violence. I was encouraged emotionally but sheltered from emotionally negative situations.
When I was finally enrolled in public school at eight years old I experienced bullying for the first time. This happened often and I would always run to the teacher crying.
Fast-forward 18 years and I’m still that girl who cries. I’ve cried on the bus, at work, even in a job interview. I cry when I’m sad, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, embarrassed and nervous. I cry when I feel I’ve made a mistake or when I feel a bad vibe from someone I’m close with. Once the tears start running, they are hard to stop. It's clear that I've been conditioned to cry whenever I feel uncomfortable. I have also used tears as a way out of awkward situations.
I’m slightly embarrassed of this. Even though I let my tears out no matter where I am, afterwards I always wish that I held myself together, waited until I got home or excused myself from the room. But it never seems to work that way in the moment.
Unraveling my relationship with crying has taken years. Currently I'm trying to control my emotions and only cry when it counts.
Don't get me wrong, I am a happy and positive person. Even though I am quite emotional I will always be an advocate for crying. I believe that it is healthy. To me, being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. To be in touch with your emotions or emotionally healthy is proven to be good for your mental and physical health.
I'm not advising that you should cry all the time but I do notice that after a good cry I feel a lightness I had gone so long without. I am able to shed all the negative feelings and feel at peace. Have you ever spent a night crying over a good book or movie and afterwards felt refreshed?
There is evidence that shows when we cry emotionally, our tears remove stress hormones and toxins from our body.
“Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.”
Tells Judith Orloff in an article published on Psychology Today about the health benefits of tears.
I would love to see the stigma for crying change. Crying can be an indicator of emotional health, not a sign of weakness. And it's not just for women either. Showing your feelings should be more supported in families as well as work environments.
We all have a different way of dealing with our emotions. It takes time to develop the habit of crying when you feel the urge to. It's important that we become more comfortable with our emotions.