Like the ocean, tears are salt water. Crying is not only used to clear debris from our eyes or to lubricate the eyeball, it is also successfully used as a coping mechanism. There are three types of tears. Continuous and Reflex tears are shed automatically for the physical benefits to the eye and the third type are Emotional tears, these contain stress hormones that get excreted from the body through crying.
Not only do our tears self soothe and improve the mood, they also dull pain. As the article ‘9 Benefits of Crying’ says:
Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, your body may go into somewhat of a numb stage. Oxytocin can give you a sense of calm or well-being.
Please click the link above to read the full article.
Another benefit that I wanted to highlight (which may seem obvious when referring to children’s tears) is that it is a signal that all is not well. Certainly when crying in front of one’s spouse, it is a sign of vulnerability and pain. I must state here that I am aware tears are not always due to sadness; they can be excreted through pure joy, shock and even stress. When it isn’t due to happiness, the tears released are helping you get through.
I remember reading in a book called ‘Surrendered Wife’ by Laura Doyle that when (if!) your husband ever caused you pain, it’s important to show him your vulnerable side. If he has an ounce of goodness in him, he won’t want to see you hurt and will realise that you need to talk things through, or at the very least stop what he did to cause the pain. Tears are an opportunity to open the doors of communication. If you can manage some delicate, feminine tears (when tears fall down at their own will, whilst your face stays serenely calm and lovely) all the better, if not ugly, wracking sobs will also do the trick! Hopefully, they will help turn a situation around.
It’s funny that we have to be told this. I guess the instinct, as an adult, is to hide the pain and suppress the tears. Well, let me tell you this- as an adult I do feel it’s very cathartic to just let go. Next time you’re hurt, allow the tears to fall. It’s natural, self-soothing and also helps rebalance the chemicals in your body. Also, if your children ever make you cry, (God forbid!) show them too, that you don’t possess superpowers and are in fact human and that their behaviour can sometimes cause you pain.
OK, so how about when nobody is watching? Well, I already mentioned that these tears are self-soothing but also they are a way to meditate on your faith, to become at one with your belief.
In the Islamic tradition, certainly, there is a phenomena of crying in front of one’s Lord, in prayer or the like, as a symbol of connectedness. The prostration during prayer, is when we are told we are the closest to God and when we are raw with desperation and neediness we are told God answers our prayers. It’s quite profound really that when things don’t work out; in brokenness and distress, praying with our heads bowed down to God, we find complete solace and peace, acceptance of prayer, closeness to our Lord and supreme peace at the thought that we are not alone. In this way, a situation can be turned around. If you are a Muslim and you have been through this you will notice that what was a difficult situation has now helped to cultivate a deep relationship with The Creator. A strength within yourself which has been derived from something going wrong in your life and can now be seen in a positive light. This strength will help you in many a tough situation in the years to come.
Having a very close relative of mine die recently, I can sincerely say that crying with loved ones is not only therapeutic but also bonding. Grief runs deeply in the human subconscious and it comes to the surface in waves. To let it out is a mercy. One of my friends once spoke of how grief, when it isn’t given an outlet, can be crippling. It can affect many areas of one’s life if it isn’t let go. It can lead to problems such as alcoholism and reliance on drugs to get through life.
I just wanted to add a note that this post is supposed to advocate a healthy amount of crying. Don’t suppress your tears. Let them fall and feel better for it.
So, what is a healthy amount? Well, if you want the stats, a YouGov Survey which took place in 2015 states:
The heaviest criers are young 18-24 year old women – about a third (32%) report crying at least once a week in the past year. Amongst men, 18-24 year olds are significantly more likely to have cried in the last year than older men (79% compared to 51% of 60+ men)
If you find you’re crying a lot more than necessary and feel you can’t cope then maybe its a sign things are emotionally off-balance and you may need to see a GP to sort this out. But before you do, try DoTerra Wild Orange essential oil which I’ve found is fabulous to lift the mood!
So, let’s discuss this! When things go wrong, do you allow your tears to fall? Do you feel it helps? How do you deal with grief? Do let me know in the comments below.
For now, until next time,
Peace and Love,
In my last post I said I’d list 3 new things I’m grateful for on each post. This will help me on my journey to Enoughism.
So, 3 Things I’m grateful for right now:
- My cast should be coming off this week. I don’t think I’ll ever be more grateful for the use of both arms and hands than I will be on that day!
- I’m grateful for all the people who have helped me throughout this crisis in my life and through sheer will have continued to be there (and feed us all!) even when the novelty wore off! Thank you, God bless!
- I’m grateful that my (now) 6 month old, Mr Cuddles, is now on solids. Yay! Things are a lot easier now as I’m not on-call 24/7 for a feed 🙂
Note: For anything on doTerra Essential Oils (which I highly recommend!) please see Dawn (Sabeeha) Hinson’s page:
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