Crying - the natural stress reliever
Crying is a natural way of releasing emotions from our bodies.
for whom crying comes easily, often remark about how much better they feel
after a good cry.
But for many, there is much fear associated
with appearing vulnerable and letting go.
Shame about being seen to
Or maybe a life time of suppressed tears that just will not come.
Let's face it - babies cry.
Our toddlers howl, storm, rage and tantrum.
Our children weep, sob or wail.
are we, as parents, as adults, able to avail ourselves of this amazing, natural, available system of
stress relief or has it been conditioned out of us?
Can you, and do you cry?
Releasing Emotions - Big Boys Just Don't Cry
We all know about 'big boys don't cry', or, 'come on, you're too big to
We've all caught ourselves saying, 'stop crying', or
'don't cry', or 'that's enough now!'
So many of our males
have been indoctrinated with this catch cry, sadly, from when they were
just little fellows too.
Many females have also received this same childhood conditioning too. If expressing feelings was contrary to your family's way, male or female, you will have learned to store up your tears.
Crying is not a weakness; it's a natural, inbuilt, human response to
sorrow, pain, fear, anger, shame, grief, despair, depression and
It's also a built in response to joy, feeling deeply
touched or moved, feeling loved, being awed, feeling overwhelmed, and
The strongest males I know are definitely the ones who are able to cry
when they need to.
Many people have told me that they find it far
easier to respond to gentleness with tears, than they do to stressful
events in their lives.
Releasing Emotions - Too Scared to Cry!
Both males and females often tell me that they are too scared to
When I ask why, most immediately reply, because I'm
afraid I'll never stop!
My response is to encourage the person to let go and cry because usually nature takes care of that.
At some stage during the tears, we all need to get a drink, find a tissue, go to the bathroom, or just stop through sheer emotional
If we just trust in the process of crying for
release, and really allow ourselves to express our pain, fear,
discomfort, hurt, rejection or whatever is behind our tears,
we find that our bodies just seem to know when enough tears have been shed.
- Releasing Emotions - Afraid to Feel.
I suggest it is not crying itself that people are afraid of, it is
getting in touch with the feelings themselves that we fear. And yet,
time and time again, people have told me that the most amazing things
happen when, during times of stress, they allow themselves to really
feel their feelings.
Releasing Emotions - Chemical Release
Release, relief, and relaxation
occur. The flood of tears is
cleansing, freeing, opening and relieving. Tears contain
different amounts of chemical protein and hormones and
releasing these may keep depression at bay and serve the purpose of
restoring the body's chemical balance after a stressful event has
I believe we need to make the most of releasing
emotions through crying, when the timing is right for us.
understand just how well this amazing function releases tension
from within us, perhaps, as parents, we will be more able to allow our
children's natural tears, and be less inclined to smother them, brush
them away, shorten their flow, shut them up, or make them feel ashamed.
- Crying During Counselling
During a very difficult counselling session, I put my arms around
a woman and pulled her head down to my shoulder, murmuring soothing
words to her. She began to cry, and then continued to sob
without ceasing for almost an hour while I held her.
Several days later, she rang to tell me that for the first time in years, she was
now sleeping steadily though the night, felt more capable and aware,
less exhausted and lighter within herself. For her, a miracle had
occurred, and all she had needed was the permission, the time, the
attention and the place. She often says that a really good
cry now helps her to know her own truth.
- Releasing Emotions Safely
If you know that this is what you need, find a safe place and give
yourself permission to go for it. Wrap yourself up in a
blanket, or cuddle a hot water bottle - climb into your bed or fill a
hot bath, ask for a loved one to hold you, or be where you feel the
most held, and then release your tears instead of bottling them up.
You won't break down, crack up, or fall to pieces, but you may be
broken open and rise renewed.
Feeling your feelings is a brave and courageous act and one that replenishes you, and brings you
home to yourself.
Allow your children's tears to flow freely, before you hush them. Tell them you understand why they feel upset and that crying is the best way to heal that. To Demonstrate
I once saw a child fall heavily
onto the concrete, only to be hauled up
quickly by the mother and told, "Stop it, you're alright, you're not
Several days later, in almost the same spot, I watched another child
fall. His mother knelt down, put her arms around him and
said, "Yes, you've hurt yourself. Have a cry and then we'll
see if there's a mark on your leg to show Dad what has happened."
Releasing Emotions - Pay Attention
As you pay attention to releasing
emotions, acknowledging your feelings,
accepting yourself, and then truly being yourself fully, you grow up
emotionally and begin to achieve your full potential.
The run on effect means that your children will be encouraged to feel their feelings,
rather than suppress them, and will become happier and emotionally
More articles in this series:
Emotional Intelligence - What is it?
Having emotional intelligence means not only recognising your emotions but acting on them reflectively and rationally.
It also involves your ability to feel and express a whole range of feelings and to understand your resistances, boundaries and projections while moving toward emotional wholeness.
with Emotional Intelligence
Here are some useful steps to take in working with emotional
intelligence. If this is new to you, be kind, gentle and patient with
yourself as you open to different and more vigorous ways of thinking
Child - helping our children to express their feelings
There is a great deal we as
parents can do to help our children to
acknowledge and express their feelings, to become a happy child.
to express emotions through talking
Talking about how we feel is really one of the most adequate ways of
expressing feelings. It takes courage, timing, opportunity and a good
listener. This is important.