The Stress of Crying
A lot of people are frightened to cry because they think it is showing a weakness within them. Perhaps they were told when they were growing up that they should control themselves, stop being a baby and be strong. Unfortunately, being told this can have an impact on how we perceive ourselves, how we think others will perceive us and create in us a lot of excess anxiety and stress that can then be a problem to manage.
Why do we need to cry?
We all have individual levels of emotions, some will naturally be more willing than others to show their emotions and wear their hearts on their sleeve; while others are going to want to keep their emotions to themselves. What has been taught and what is natural within ourselves is difficult to say unless you have a good understanding of the upbringing and individual characteristic of people.
However, the fear of crying can create a great deal of anxiety and stress within us because we can feel that, if we start crying, we might never stop. If some of these ideas resonate with you, perhaps it is time to start looking at crying in a different way.
All emotions and feelings are a form of energy just like the weather and the cycles of the moon. In actual fact, we are very closely connected to the energy in our weather because it can stir up different forms of emotions within us. I know some people, who on a full moon become feisty and argumentative. And, just like the weather we can sometimes feel like:
Ranting, raving and lashing out
Being still, quiet and contemplate
We can just feel sad but don’t understand why
But, thankfully at other times:
Happy, sunny and full of the joys of spring
Once the heightened energy levels have been allowed to release it subsides and you will begin to feel normal again.
The problem comes, of course, if you don’t allow yourself to release these feelings you are keeping tightly wrapped or keep sweeping under the carpet. If you imagine a saucepan of milk being heated up. You can watch it for what feels like ages and it appears that nothing is happening. You take your eye off it for a minute and before you know it the milk has boiled up all over the cooker, leaving behind a horrible mess. The tightly controlled anxious thoughts and feelings will appear to be under wraps but if unaddressed will boil over when you least expect it.
So, if you feel like crying then allow it to happen. I don’t advice this when you are in the middle of a job interview but where it is safe to do so. Crying is designed to allow us to release the anxiety and stress that we are feeling so that we can get on with life more easily. The fact that tears are made up of stress hormones that rise in periods of anxiety and stress indicates that crying is also about balancing the natural chemicals that are produced in our bodies. These chemicals include:
Adrenocorticoropic Hormone (Stress Hormone)
Leucine Enkephalin (Pain Killer)
Magnesium, which helps to regulate mood
Crying is not a weakness but a signal that we need to allow ourselves to change something. This change is about giving ourselves permission to express ourselves in a natural way and that it is going to be OK. Release those feelings, allow them to flow and then you are in a stronger position to be able to get on with life without the burden that you are carrying with you.
At other times you may have the feelings of wanting to cry but cannot quite get to the emotional level for the tears to start flowing. There are two ways of handling this which is entirely personal and trial and error:
I’m sure we all have a film or a piece of music that makes us feel very emotional. Put that on so that it will tip the emotional balance and allow it do its job.
Distract yourself with something else, a hobby, uplifting music to sing along or dance to, getting physically active to get the endorphins flowing. Get out in the fresh air to help you clear your head. Changing your mindset is a great way to move in a different direction with your thoughts and feelings.
The problem comes when you just can’t cry. This may mean that you have subconsciously put up a mental barrier because of something that has happened in your past. This usually happens to help protect us from showing vulnerability and concerns of being overpowered by someone or something else.
However overpowering it might seem to you at the time you will not be alone. There will be an awful lot of other people in close proximity to you that will have experienced or are experiencing the same thoughts and feelings as you. And like you, they are keeping them to themselves because they are frightened about them too.
Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, understand them, don’t be ashamed of them, take control of them so you can change them into something else. - something more user friendly.
If you would like more support with understanding your challenging thoughts and feelings, then contact me so that we can have a conversation. Message me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject of The Stress of Crying.