Today my youngest didn’t want to go into nursery, she clung to my neck sobbing, this is a very rare occurrence. The Mummy guilt escalated at a fast pace. I returned to my car and I burst into tears. The reality is that as soon as I drove off, she would be absolutely fine running around with her friends. I knew this. I questioned why I was crying, “pulled myself together” and stopped.
I got home as my husband was leaving, said goodbye and as soon as I shut the door I started crying again. I questioned myself once more and quickly realised this was not because of the Mummy guilt felt in the nursery car park but because my over-thinking mind and body right now needs a good cry… it needs to release… and that’s OK!!! Pulling myself together and holding back the tears is the wrong thing to do for my wellbeing.
Today I am officially adding Crying as a tool to My Wellness Toolbox. I have started to appreciate that it can be very good for your wellbeing, especially during difficult times or when you are struggling with your mental health. It is ok to cry. Let’s face it, we enter this world waving this tool in the air…
I have always worn my emotions on my sleeve. Until I wrote My Wellness Toolbox I had an outdated belief that this was not a good thing, it was a sign of weakness. I have been told on a number of occasions that I shouldn’t wear my heart or emotions on my sleeve so much (apparently it put boys off… but it didn’t put the right one off… 😉). It is who I am. Fortunately, I now have hard evidence that wearing my heart on my sleeve and sharing my emotions not only bagged me a great husband but has helped others, so I have since released that outdated belief.
However, I still get frustrated with myself that I cry for all different emotions and not just when I am sad. I am one of those that also cries when I am anxious, frustrated (this is the one that bugs me), angry (I think this one bugs my husband too), …happy…and when I get the fit of giggles it can lead to full on sobs!
When you see someone cry how often is your reaction “Oh don’t cry its going to be ok”, “What are you crying for?”, “Please stop crying you’ll upset me”? “Oh pull yourself together!!”…what if crying is what they need, to make them feel better?
How often do you hold back the tears and then start to experience additional anxiety, worry, stress or headaches? …what if crying is what you need to make you feel better?
I’ve done some research and it turns out tears are healthy, and crying can be very good for you. Here is why…
- Crying can be uplifting – as we sob our breathing changes and also cools down which can actually help soothe our mind
- Crying is Self-Soothing – crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system enabling your body to rest. It is not an immediate response but within minutes of crying the PNS will activate.
- Tears detox the body – research suggests that emotional tears contain stress hormones and when we cry we are flushing them away (so that explains my recent weight loss 😉)
- Crying releases endorphins including oxytocin – these are feel good chemicals that can help relieve both emotional and physical pain. This happens when you have a good cry for a longer period of time.
- Crying rebalances you – when you experience a strong emotion crying helps rebalance your mind, this explains why I cry after the fits of giggles!!!
- Crying is important when grieving – releasing tears following the loss of a loved one is really important to help your mind process and accept what has happened
Please, don’t hold back those tears, release them as this is normal and healthy! …and if you see someone holding back the tears, give them a big hug and let them know its good to release them!
However, if you are crying excessively, you are worrying about how much you are crying and/or it is starting to interfere with your everyday then I would suggest you have a chat with your GP to see if there are any underlying reasons that they can help you address.
When I started writing this blog my eyes were still stinging from the tears, they have since dried up and I am now feeling so much better than I did in the nursery car park 2 hours ago. This not only proves some of the above but also highlights that Tool #25 Writing is once again working for me… what a combination!!
I hope you all have a great day... but don’t forget to cry if you need to!