23 March 2021 Let It Out

Let It Out

I’ve been going through some seriously tough stuff lately and I’ve been crying a lot. And I mean, A LOT.

When I was growing up I remember adults telling me things like, “it’s okay, you don’t need to cry” and “crying won’t fix anything.” Sometimes I felt embarrassed when I cried and couldn’t control it because I thought I was doing something wrong. Now that I’m the adult I realize that they were seriously mistaken. I DO need to cry. And crying CAN fix some things.

There’s actually a huge variety of benefits when it comes to crying (both physical and emotional.)

Physical benefits

According to an article by Medical News Today there are three types of tears: basal, reflex, and emotional. Basal tears are the most basic form of tears and are constantly secreted to keeps the eyes lubricated. Reflex tears are tears triggered by irritants like wind, smoke, etc. and are used by the body to keep the eyes clean and protected. Finally, emotional tears are (you guessed it) tears that flow in response to emotions inside the body.


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Releasing tears helps our bodies by:

•relieving pain through the release of oxytocin and endorphins (known as “feel good” chemicals)
•releasing toxins and relieving stress
•aiding sleep
•fighting bacteria
•improving vision

Emotional Benefits

I personally think that one of the most beautiful things about crying is that the physical and emotional benefits seem to weave together and make a really beautiful tapestry of wellness.

According to the same article one of the emotional benefits of crying is that has a soothing effect. The article defines self-soothing as “…when people regulate their own emotions, calm themselves, and reduce their own distress.”

Furthermore, I think that one of the most amazing things about crying is the opportunity it can give two or more people to connect and empathize with each other. When a person allows themselves to open up and be vulnerable through crying, and another person is able to respond by allowing that person to express their emotions without discomfort or trying to stop them, something beautiful happens. Here’s an example.

My best friend McKenna is a GEM. We live about four hours away from each other but I had the opportunity to spend a few days with her earlier this month. One of the nights we were together I was driving us back to her place after we’d seen a movie, and out of nowhere I started crying. She put her hand on my back, and when we reached a red light she just wrapped her arms around me and held me while I sobbed. When the light turned green, she let go and we just kept on driving.

I can’t even remember if we talked or not, but we’ve gotten so close over the years that we’re able to just BE THERE when one of us needs to let it out. This type of experience helps me feel loved and supported in a way that’s indescribable.

“Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, without judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.'”
-Brene Brown

Everyone does it

Whether you’re male, female, young, old, outgoing, or shy… it doesn’t matter. YOU NEED TO CRY SOMETIMES. I know it can be uncomfortable, but I think we need to normalize it a little more. So grab those tissues and let it happen.

Be well,
Trin

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