Today I cry me a river. 

I am physically and emotionally not feeling good. And I have decided to let it all out. I have my box with tissues near and I am allowing myself to cry as much as I need to feel good again.

What is happening is that I feel exhausted, stiff, and fat, and I don't seem to be able to change any of that at this stage. I feel crap, but I also know that it's just a moment in time that will pass.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I've decided to do some research on crying and share with you why we cry, why crying is good for you and when crying is a sign of something more serious. I'll also share with you how I pick myself up again after a good cry.

When it comes to crying, first of all, we need to make a distinction between crying and tears.

You often have tears in our eyes without really crying. These type of tears are either a natural thing to keep your eyes moisturized or they are caused by a trigger, like dust, the wind, onions, etc. Tears are then being produced to clean and protect your eyes.

But what I am talking about here is having tears caused by emotions; crying.

Crying is caused by feeling emotions like pain, sadness, frustration, anger, grief and even joy.

So, why is shedding a tear actually good for you?

There are many emotional benefits:

  • Crying is soothing by regulating emotions, calming you down, relaxing you and reducing your stress
  • Crying may improve your mood. After shedding tears you often feel a lot better because the crying released endorphins.
  • Crying may trigger other people to provide emotional and/or practical support 
  • Crying releases toxins, stress hormones and other chemicals, and by doing so it is believed to relieve stress
  • Crying can relieve pain by releasing oxytocin and endorphins which are chemicals that make you feel good and release both physical and emotional pain.

Crying also has a whole range of physical benefits:

  • Crying can help you sleep better because it relaxes and calms you
  • Crying cleanses and lubricates your eyes
  • Crying helps killing bacteria in your eyes
  • Crying improves your vision and increases eye health
  • Crying can decrease physical pain

Suppressing tears means that you are missing out on these  benefits! So, let them flow freely! This is what we did when we were babies, but when growing up we were often told to "get over it". 

As an adult many of us have learned that crying, especially at work, being in a public place, or being a man, is not "on". We are told to be ashamed of our tears. By doing so, you can clearly miss out on some benefits.

Apart from crying having many benefits, it may also be a warning sign of depression

If you cry for no apparent reason, cry frequently or uncontrollable, if your crying affects you daily life and work, you may be suffering from depression. If that sounds like you, please go and talk to a doctor!

Here you go! Crying is not such a bad thing after all.

By now, my tears have dried up, and I have stopped crying. I do really feel a lot better.

I know that I can do things myself to feel better. I do not always want to hear that or be reminded of that when I feel down, but I also know that I have created tactics for myself that do make me feel a lot better.

Today, my tactic was distraction; I started to write this blog.

Other days I may resort to other tactics when I feel down. I normally do one or more of the following things:

  • Create a distraction
  • Dive deep into the problem or feeling, and getting as much information as possible; why, when, where, how, etc
  • Meditate
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Look at YouTube videos with cute animals or funny babies
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Watch a comedy
  • Talk to someone who cares
  • Read a good book
  • Enjoy a game

So, next time you have to cry, don't punish yourself by thinking it's a bad thing. Cry your eyes out as much as you need to, enjoy the benefits, and then start picking yourself up again.

I would love to hear from you what you do to feel better. Let me know!

With love,

Maxima Miller

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