The healing power of tears
"What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul."
- Jewish proverb
When was the last time you had a really good cry? You could have been very happy or very sad. We cry tears of joy when celebrating our loved ones. We cry tears of sorrow when experiencing misfortune in our lives. Crying is a form of therapy that provides us with numerous benefits. There may be times when we feel compelled to hold in our tears, but the science tells us we should let them flow!
One of the biggest myths about crying is that it is a sign of weakness. Many people grew up in households where crying was shunned or ignored. Especially for males, we may have been told to suck it up. I was mocked for it, so I learned to hold it in. Not until I reached my mid 20's did I really experience the healing effects of happy and sad tears. I learned to let it out, and once the floodgates opened, it was the most comforting form of therapy I had ever experienced. I experienced the benefits and felt the anxiety, depression and sleeplessness melt away. I learned not to keep the tears bottled up any longer.
Of course there may be times where the tears won't stop flowing and it could be beneficial to seek professional help. Otherwise, it seems tears are important for us to process our emotions, self-soothe, heal and move on. The same way we have the ability to use breathing techniques to help us manage our mental health, we can utilize crying to help us improve our wellbeing. Our tears are like this magic elixir that aide us in times of sorrow and delight us in times of joy.
Next time you feel the tears welling up inside, whether it's grief, happiness, sickness or stress, I encourage you to let them out and allow the healing to commence. It's a feature of our bodies, not a bug. By letting it all out we give ourselves this release that can allow us to move on with our day or help to move on from whatever it is that has us feeling that way. Tears help us cleanse whatever it is that's hurting and elevate our happiness. Instead of fighting them, we can let them fall and feel them soothe our mood.
Harvard Health: Is crying good for you? (Hint: Yes, it is!)
Best Life: 17 Amazing Benefits of Crying
Healthline: 6 Surprisingly Practical Reasons We Cry