Have you ever heard the term ‘cry baby?’ I think we all have. Were you raised in a household where your parents told you stop stop crying whenever you shed a tear or started to pout? Why is it that we live in a society that teaches or mocks us if we express an emotion through tears? Think about that for a minute.
I believe it’s because tears are seen as weakness, if you don’t cry and ‘tough it up’ then you are not weak, pathetic and helpless. Those who do not cry are the masculine, muscular, amazing, spectacular MEN…. or something like that. We have suppressed the basic expression of our basic emotions, tears and crying being one of those as a release mechanism for us.
Before I get into the science of why crying is actually healthier for you I want to talk a little bit about my philosophy (that I hope you agree with or can at least understand) first because I want you to have a different perspective before getting into the rest of the article and video below.
Remember when you were a kid and you fell over and scraped your elbow, saw that it was bruised and immediately began crying? It felt pretty natural didn’t it? How about when you felt pain because it wasn’t ‘cool’ or ‘tough’ and instead you only cried in the rare scenario that someone really hurt your feelings? When it felt like someone pierced your heart with a painful dagger.
Emotions move, emotions flow, emotions are part of life. Emotions are meant to flow through us so that we can experience them, not hold onto them. If we hold onto emotions like a sponge they weigh on us and affect our health through the form of stress but it’s really an emotional form of stress. One of the big both spiritual and health lessons that we need to learn as a new society is FLOW. When you hold onto stress, resentment, anger, negative emotions, pain, guilt, frustration, discontentment, fear etc etc… These cause stagnation within your body, mind and spirit.
Learning to live with the flow is part of life. As Bruce Lee says, Be Like Water My Friend. Water flows, water changes form, water is versatile and can flow, fly, fall or become a block of ICE. I’m getting a bit off on a tangent but I feel that it’s important to really emphasize flow, movement is the currency of the healthy, the truly wealthy. Nutrition, energy, exercise, even relaxation in the form of sleep create movement and flow within the body. Circulation is a form of flow, the blood pumping from the heart is a form of flow. The digestive system is flowing, extracting, processing and creating changes within the body.
When it comes to tears, why would it be any different? If you sweat, bleed, drink water, go to the bathroom and flow in those ways why wouldn’t your eyes which are meant to flow not flow? I share all of this before the science because I want you to be able to understand embrace the spiritual philosophy behind the science first and foremost because we don’t always have the science at our fingertips. We do have our mind, body and spirit though and we do have our intuition to help us decide, so keep that in mind when you are not sure which direction to take with your health, wellness or even life for that matter.
Just go with the flow, go with your gut, go with what you feel which is an emotion which also flows through you.
Enough flow talk, let’s get geeky. 🙂
NY Times reporter Benedict Carey refers to crying as emotional perspiration, and for good reason. Did you know that tears actually enable you to see? It’s true! Tears lubcricate your eyeballs and eyelids as well as prevent dehydration of your of several mucous membranes. Tears also contain lysozyme, which is an enzyme that kills bacteria. This will help prevent any eye infections. Also, Biochemist William Frey discovered that emotional tears contained more toxic byproducts than tears that were formed through irritation from an onion, or something stuck in your eye, for example.
Crying can also elevate your mood by lowering levels of manganese if they are too high. High levels of manganese will cause nervousness, anxiety, fatigue etc. Tears are literally like perspiration, both exercise and crying relieve stress. This helps to detoxify and clear up toxicity within the body. Tears also bring people together, as odd as that sounds it creates a bond between people that is emotionally built on being vulnerable enough to show it.
Tears are natural, it’s an expression of emotions and they should flow just like your blood does, like your heart beats and like everything else that ‘flows’ in your life. It’s part of life, it’s part of feeling the emotion and releasing it and when you do you feel much better. Partially because it’s detoxifying but also because you release that emotion (energy in motion = e-motion) which allows you to see (literally and figuratively) the world in a better light.
Holding onto emotions causes you to hold back the tears, which builds up toxicity and doesn’t allow your body to balance like it would if you would let those emotions through you.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed by an emotion and are trying to hold back those tears, what are you going to do?
Until next time, Pura Vida 🙂
– David Benjamin