How many times have we heard that line every time we see someone crying? Even when a child cries, parents oftentimes will say, “Stop crying!” The only time we feel comfortable about tears is when someone dies or when we are in thorough pain – as if tears are reserved for special occasions.
In an article, "The Miracle of Tears”, author Jerry Bergman said, "Tears are just one of many miracles which work so well that we take them for granted every day." And I agree. In my experience as a counselor, coach and healer, I find that crying is one of the best natural means to clear the path to recovery.
So, what are the reasons why crying is important for wellness:
1. Tears are like sweat after a workout
If there is a physical workout that exercises our muscles and releases our toxins through sweat, there is an emotional workout that exercises our heart and soul and releases negative feelings through tears. After a release, you feel much better. So crying releases emotional baggage and lightens our loads.
There is a scientific basis to this. Crying is known to lower our body’s manganese levels which when high cause a range of mental disturbances like anxiety, stress, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, aggression, anger.
Emotional tears (crying because of pain for example) contain 24 percent higher albumin protein concentration--responsible for transporting small (toxic) molecules--than irritation tears (when eyes are irritated). Bergman said that crying eliminates some stress-related chemicals like the endorphins leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin. Also as Bergman writes, "Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.”
2. Tears cleanses
Tears serve as antibacterial and antiviral agents fighting off all the germs we accumulate daily in our eyes. Tears make us see clearly – emotionally and literally. Because tears lubricate our eyeballs and hydrate our mucus membranes, they improve our sight.
3. Tears establish bonds
Tears signal trust and vulnerability. You do not just cry in front of strangers unless you can’t control it. Oftentimes, we give in to someone we trust. Thus crying is a sign of a deep bond. It is our way of connecting to another human being – laughter and tears.
So, go ahead. Cry. There is nothing wrong with it.