We know the rules. They’ve been drummed into our heads since before we could speak the word internet, let alone navigate it, and the repercussions of those words have pounded in our brains ever since every time we’ve felt the urge.

Boys don’t cry. Time to put your big girl panties on; big girls never cry. Don’t cry wolf. Only sissies cry. Only babies cry. Stop crying over spilt milk. It’s a crying shame. Dry up those tears; stop being so sensitive; crying won’t change a thing.

So when did crying get such a bad rap?

When did crying become anathema to courage and strength? More importantly, when will realize that to cry tears is not a sign of weakness but a natural human response that has not only emotional benefits but physiological ones as well?

Crying releases pent up anger, disappointments and frustrations, not to mention sorrow, loss, grief and even joy and relief. To cry is to release something so that a replacement of new energy and experiences can commence. Emotionally and physiologically to cry–aka shedding tears–is not only a cleansing mechanism but also a healing one.

Chemically, tears contain salt, water, oil and protein. Prolactin being the protein. Known as the nurturing protein, prolactin is the peptide hormone secreted in breast milk during lactation. It is also responsible for our salt to water balance, growth and development, metabolism, brain functionality, reproduction, and immune regulation and protection. Try that on for size next time you want to suppress your tears.

Speaking of tears, there are three types–basal, reflex and emotional. Some scientific researchers even believe that crying emotional tears releases toxins and waste products from the body, including endorphins, which in turn reduces stress and improves mood. Spiritualists have always contended this.

To cry is to release and to release is the stepping stone to healing.

So next time you feel like crying but that nagging voice from childhood scolds you to “suck it up and stuff it,” think again. Or worse, next time are about to draw upon your arsenal of why not to cry ditties because you are feeling the urge to suppress another from shedding tears–again, think again.

Instead of muttering one of the aforementioned clichés that taught us all “why not to cry”, try a new tactic.  Simply say this–comply, release, yield. Because when we can express instead of repress–we purge it from our system. And if the purging yields physiological in addition to emotional health benefits, why fight it?

So go ahead…cry….grab a tissue from the box and let it all go.





Share This