MOUNTING bills, personal health concerns, fears surrounding COVID-19, the start of the hurricane season, anxiety over family, contemplation about the meal for the next day, the loss of a job, dealing with a bad boss, grieving the death of a loved one, depression, racial and social injustice, homesickness, criminals — and the list goes on. Does one or more of these overwhelm you? How do you cope with the emotional strain and all the madness currently around?
Did you know shedding a tear may water the soul and even drown negative emotions? When was the last time you cried?
Crying against social norms
We are often told to try not to break down, and it is customary when someone is crying to hear a consoling voice say, “Hush, don’t cry.” What is more, our society puts a taboo on males crying. Small wonder, twice the number of males than females commit suicide in our country. Could males have possibly fared better if they availed themselves of this natural outlet and cried more?
Crying instead of bottling everything up
Shaking a bottle of soda violently then pulling the cork causes it to spurt out. However, opening and closing the cork slightly, and at intervals, safely keeps the content inside as the fizz slowly disappears. Similarly, as pressures mount in and around us, let us not wait for it to be bottled up to the point where we lose control; rather, an occasional tear can calm the body and preserve our inner being.
Breaking down in tears now and again actually helps to build you up. In what specific ways, though, is crying therapy for the body or language to the soul?
Crying for a better brain
The brain is the problem solver. When it solves a problem, it may prevent you from crying. Not all times, however, can it solve mounting problems and we may end up crying, which, gives the feeling that the problem is under control. Essentially, creating greater clarity for the brain to work and better attack the problem.
Crying out headaches
Mounting problems may occasion serious headaches. Crying allows you to let things go, such as the tension causing a headache, and set you on a path to healing and having a lighter head space.
Crying and colds
Crying produces much nasal mucus. Blowing our nostrils when crying aids in decreasing colds by ridding the nose of bacteria and dust build-up.
Crying away toxins
Tears arising from emotional crying contain toxins, a finding biochemist William Frey remarked after several experiments. Crying helps to release these from the body and prevent a toxic build-up.
Crying down blood pressure
Failure to cry builds up stress. Stress, in turn, spikes blood pressure, which can damage heart and body. Crying, on the other hand, may ease both blood pressure and stress, and possibly lower the risk of a heart attack.
Crying aside stress
Stress-related tears contain adrenocorticotrophic, a chemical substance found to stimulate cortisol — a hormone known to suppress stress levels and calm the body.
With greater positive energy after crying, the body is ready to deal with a problem. One person mentioned immense stress arising from the loss of her mother, and the healing and calming effect crying had in the reconciliation process. It was the language she needed for her soul. She cried more to stress less.
Crying for life
Incontrovertible evidence abounds that crying can turn a bad day into a good one, improve your health, or give you greater control over a situation. Just try it! You may even have to force it, and it may just be well worth it, for crying may not just save your day, it may also save your life.
Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.
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