Go ahead and cry. Your tears release stress, reduce toxins, and help you heal.
As a matter of fact, I’ve had a good cry for the last twenty minutes. But, I’m not sad.
I was watching a movie that moves me to tears every time I cue it up. Unable to stop the torrent of sobbing that erupted almost involuntarily at the end, I just let it rip. I felt better immediately.
It is cathartic and liberating to cry a good cry.
Some people ask crying movie watchers like myself why we choose to watch movies that make us cry. So, I want to answer that question. But first a little background.
Years ago, after much tragedy, I was so broken inside that I just did what I needed to do to get through each day. On the outside I looked happy and capable, but on the inside, I shut down my feeling center and built fiercely guarded walls to keep from coming apart.
“She was like a shell of herself, a woman on autopilot.”
In fact, a friend remarked that I was “cold an unfeeling.” She had just finished unloading her latest fight with her husband on me over coffee. Since I had not responded with the expected horror at his insensitivity and talking her through it, she was angry with me. As I sat there unable to console her, she got up and left in a huff. In response to the drama, I sat there for a while by myself just trying to breathe.
To give you some context, I had lost my mother to cancer unexpectedly a few years earlier, at nineteen. But, on that particular coffee with a friend day, I had just come back from visiting my father in the hospital. He was also dying, and on the other side of the country from me. Coupled with the pain of losing my mother, watching my father die was more than I could bear. So, to be truthful, my friend’s fight with her husband seemed a burden that I could not help her bear at the moment.
I couldn’t allow myself to feel it, because I had reached my tipping point. At any moment, I knew I might give way like a dam with a crack. Maybe I needed a safe place to cry.
I was twenty three and trying to deal with incredible loss.
In retrospect, I realize I had purposely turned off my emotions and put my own despair in a box. There was no energy to spare, no room for carrying a burden that was not mine to carry. I needed relief of my own.
It wasn’t that I didn’t care, but if I opened that box, then a public and overwhelming breakthrough was inevitable.
At some point, we will all need tools to live to fight another day. To heal takes time and intention.
At first, I filled my own life with so much stuff that there was no room for the pain to surface. I pressed it down, way down. But, that was then. You can’t keep pain locked down your whole life. In the end, it took years to find all of the things that helped to heal me. I had to surround myself with good people, and participate in things that brought joy.
So if you want to know, I will tell you how to heal. Here it is: You keep trying positive stuff until something works for you. There is no magic bullet, but letting yourself feel it and release it in a healthy way is a start.
Watch things or reads things that make you laugh. Let yourself laugh until you cry, very therapeutic.
You can go to counseling. Find a club, go to church.
I chose to write it all down, and it still is great therapy.
You can learn to pray, because prayer does change things, but it changes us more.
I have another friend who reads away pain. Both of us have little dogs to help us weather some things too. Just their presence is healing.
Another surefire way to regroup is to fill your heart with uplifting music.
Play an instrument if you can. Music will heal if you choose it well, so revamp your soundtrack.
I have friends who swear by running as stress release, but I think anything outdoors lifts the spirits. My best friend seeks sunshine every day as continual healing.
Okay, so laugh.
Healing comes in many forms, so try more than one, but don’t give up.
Tears relieve stress, reduce toxins, and heal. Tears even build relationships. So go ahead and cry!
Nowadays, once in a while I still cry the big cry and let God have all the pain. It is so healing to let it out. I sob like there is no tomorrow and then I get up, get a glass of water and watch something funny or moving. Maybe I will write or swim, pull weeds or go for a drive with good music. I just regroup.
Honestly, I also pray in an ongoing conversation with God just to keep myself sane.
However I deal on any particular day, I let myself feel it and then let it go.
Hence, today’s cry and post. Whenever I watch something moving, I am so glad I can cry. It is a relief and a catharsis to express it. I am no longer broken. My heart is pliant once again.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
One of my best friends called me today and told me how she laughed at work over an order that was so baffling, they could not comprehend the idiocy of the situation. So, they laughed. And then they laughed until they cried.
Sometimes when I need to reap all the healing benefits of a healthy cry, I watch a movie. So there you have it. We need a good cry now and then. Increase endorphins with a good happy healthy heart healing cry. For some more information, read 9 Ways Crying May Benefit Your Health from healthline.com
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (There is a a time and a season for everything…) a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
laughing, crying, barefoot and writing,
For some Feel Good Movie ideas try this post: Top Ten Feel Good Movies
Try the Barefoot Inspiration category humor here: HUMOR
You might also enjoy my post: External change won’t heal our inner wounds. What to do instead. “Humility is the freedom gate that takes the power away from the wound.”
I read this post from Psych Central on reasons crying is a healthy thing to do: 7 Good Reasons to Cry: The Healing property of tears.