Let Your Tears Flow – It’s Okay To Cry

Why am I like this?

That is the exact thought that always flashes through my mind when the tears start to flow. You see, I am a Cry-er. I am not subtle about it either. Someone once told me that I cry with my whole body, there are tears, shudders, and loud sobs – I feel sorry for whoever spots me pulled up at a red light, openly weeping and blaring Taylor Swift’s Folklore.

I will always cry if I have to and I have been that way my whole life. When you’re a child and just feeling how you’re feeling, it seems like nothing to shed a tear. However, as I grew older, the shame and embarrassment of a good cry grew too. I am not weak; I am a strong woman and strong women don’t cry.

But I’m here to tell you, that’s bullshit (a technical term).

Crying is good for your mind

Okay, this is the obvious one that you probably already know. But crying is a mental and emotional release. How many times have you felt yourself on the brink of a good old-fashioned cry and thought, “not here!” so you hold it in and end up feeling far worse?

A moment of crying helps us step back and take a moment to process what may be wrong. Pent up emotions and holding on to emotional baggage can severely impact your mental health.

Crying is good for your physical health

You know that moment after a good cry when you just feel lighter? Like the problem that caused this feels more manageable – or even inconsequential? Your tears are not just responsible for an emotional release.

Emotional tears (not the “I’ve just cut the worst onion of my life” tears or “How have I stubbed my toe on the bedframe AGAIN?” tears), have a different make up to others. They have higher levels of proteins and stress hormones such as Prolactin, so when you are excreting them from your body – you’re physically getting rid of your stress.

A big sob also naturally comes with other physical symptoms, such as deep breathing, which reduces cortisol – the stress hormone – so your body will naturally relax.

Not only that but tears are your body’s natural defense mechanism against all the nasty germs floating around. So, a quick little eye-water is preventing all that bacteria from entering your body.

Crying is good for connection

As someone who has cried in public multiple times, I can confirm. In those moments, sure, I was embarrassed. But embarrassment, according to Researchers at the University of California, Berkley, has a place in bonding with people. People who feel embarrassed earn greater trust and are often seen as transparent, selfless and cooperative.

There is also the age old example, of crying in a bar bathroom. It takes one drunken girl to spot you, console you, bring her friends and suddenly you are being uplifted by the girl gang you didn’t know existed. Vulnerability brings people together.

If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this, it’s that crying takes strength, to know what you need, to show vulnerability, to feel something when you don’t know how to feel. You are not weak to do so, you are strong.

So, let it out girl, and when the tears dry, you’ll be ready to show the world that you’re an unstoppable force.