Crying was not only acceptable in the home I grew up in, it was encouraged. I come from a family of cryers.
I can still hear my mother say after crying "I haven't had a good cry for long time. That was wonderful!" You would think she had just devoured a chocolate brownie!
I cry easily about a lot of different things. And when something strikes me really hard, like a remembered sorrow, I sometimes can't stop crying for a long time. But oh the relief! The burden purged. The sorrow expressed. The tears leave their tranquilizing magic over my body and I sense a wonderful cleansing from the release of so much emotion.
Which do you do more often, laugh or cry? Do you think one is better for you than the other? The answer may surprise you. They are both good for you! I have written about laughter as 'Depression's Secret Weapon'. Laughter and tears are closer than we think and both equally healing. So I thought we should give tears equal time.
"To weep is to make less the depth of grief."
William Shakespeare said that. Do you agree?
Did you realize that the water of our tears contained so much emotion? Antoine Rivarol said "Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water." So you see what side of the crying fence I am on – I am all for it! Which is why it delights me to discover that many experts agree that crying is good for you! Examine some of these statements made by Venkata Vemuri:
"For the first time in history, researchers are verifying that crying is good for us because tears appear to reduce tensions, remove toxins, and increase the body's ability to heal itself."
"A clue to the purpose of crying perhaps lies in the experimental finding that emotional tears contain different compounds from regular eye watering, such as that triggered by chopping onions."
"Tears associated with emotion have higher levels of some proteins, and of manganese and potassium, and hormones, including prolactin, than mere eye watering."
"'It is possible that crying is both an arousing distress signal and a means to restore psychological and physiological balance,' says researchres at the University of Florida."
What about you? Do you cry a lot? Do you cry easily? Have you had a good cry lately? Are you convinced that crying is good for you? When you are depressed and you cry a lot, has it ever dawned on you that those tears could be healing instead of hurting? Next time we will chat about just how crying works.
I am so glad you stopped Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression.
Don't give up, I'm praying for you!
This series has been reposted from April 2010.