Cowboys and big girls don’t cry.
There is scientific proof — the kind of proof I enjoy — of the benefits of crying. In many studies around the world, scientists and researchers have found a correlation between crying and the positive effects it has on us humans. We are the only species that cry, and also the only one that laughs. I guess we are the only species that need it. If, however, crying is becoming a problem for you or those around you, you should seek medical help.
There are 3 kinds of tears, basal, reflex and emotional. Basal and reflex are in response to physical irritants or elements. The emotional tears happen at a primal and psychological level. Crying has a self-soothing effect by activating the nervous system which helps to calm and relax us in stressful situations. Crying emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins into your body. These feel-good chemicals help ease both physical and emotional pain.
Even the make-up of the tears differs in emotional tears. The tears contain stress hormones and other chemicals that help reduce the emotional stress a person is experiencing. It also aids in helping you to sleep better. New calming, pain-relieving and mood-enhancing benefits of crying are being found in on-going research.
How did crying become associated with weakness?
I had Parents who believed in expressing your feelings and emotions. They both cried tears of joy and sadness that we kids understood it was safe to do so too. Besides the soothing benefits of crying mentioned, humans have a caring response that rallies support from those around us. Everyone knows the soothing effect of a mother’s embrace and calming tone to help ease the pain. Finding support and care in a loved one’s company as a response to sadness or grief isn’t weak — it’s necessary.
I cry sometimes. When I am grateful and happy, I can cry. I cry for loss and injustice. Sometimes when I want to cry, I can’t. After my older Brother died two years ago, at first I couldn’t cry. Then when I did, I thought I was never going to stop. Grief counselling and support from friends and family can offer some relief. There is that which you will need to process and compartmentalise so that you can carry on living. That only you can do. And in that process, tears are bound to flow.
When you go into life, you are taught to be tough, especially if you’re small. I was a smaller child, and my Parents taught me to be humble. Not to fight but to try and find common ground. Even when I tried to fight, I always got beaten up anyway. I still have moments where “the red mist descends before my eyes” and I want to lash out. And when I do, I am always sorry I did.
We should teach our children to love, not fight. We should show them that crying is okay. We should create a safe place for tears of sadness — and of joy — to flow without fear of judgement. The benefits are scientifically proven. Some of us never needed the proof.
If you are over 50 this version of Big Girls Don’t Cry is for you
Or this one if you’re younger. (Especially for you My Poops)
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
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