How crying helps us to see clearly

Crying is an act of sheer frustration yet an honest, genuine emotion. To cry is to feel defenceless, sad or let down in some way. Many of us fear intense displays of emotion because tears are often viewed as a sign of weakness, yet there is something so beautiful and sincere about them and they can also be looked upon as divine expressions of human feeling. Many famous artists and writers for example have also recognised this, William Shakespeare wrote: “To weep is to make less the dept of grief."

When we release pent up emotions we often feel vulnerable and exposed and fear what others around us may think. But tears not only help us to clear everything out of our system, they are also beneficial to our spiritual wellbeing and growth. Without tears life would be very tense, we would feel tight and rigid and unable to deal with our surroundings. Although some of us may hold our emotions in, it doesn’t mean to say that we don’t take comfort in knowing that we can turn the taps on when we are either alone or feel as if we have hit a brick wall.

Crying is known to be cathartic and tears have been recognised as a “soul cleansing process” in the sense that it rids the negative feelings and tensions that may have been holding us down, as often when we do cry we feel as if a weight has been lifted. Emotional tears are a response that only humans have, whereas animals merely produce tears to lubricate their eyes. One amazing discovery is that tear production may actually be a way to aid a person to deal with emotional problems.

This finding lends some basis to the expression, ‘To cry it out helps a person feel better.’ Scientific studies have found that after crying, people actually do feel better, both physically and physiologically—and they feel worse by suppressing their tears. When we suppress our emotions we often become angry and irritable and it may stop us from enjoying life as according to research emotional tears contain more beta-endorphins, some of our bodies’ natural pain relievers, and protein, therefore we may feel more able to deal with things after having a good cry.

Dr. William Frey, a biochemist and director of the Dry Eye and Tear Research Center in Minneapolis, Minn also suggests that one reason people might feel better after crying could be because they are "removing, in their tears, chemicals that build up during emotional stress." Frey’s research indicates that tears, along with other bodily secretions like perspiration, rid the body of various toxins and wastes. What is also interesting is that the Japanese encourage crying and call it the “crying boom” as they believe that everyone needs a bit of sadness in their lives and they like to stay in touch with their emotional side by watching weepy films and sad TV dramas.

Many spiritual people use crying as a spiritual practice and believe that it takes them closer to their heart and then connects them with their God. It is also believed in some cultures that God will fill you back up with love after you have cried. To cry is to sometimes express something that you no longer want and crying to the Lord or the spirit can often give people and overwhelming sense of power and justice. Many people speak about feeling spiritual when they cry as they can also detect the emotions of those around them, for example, empaths and clairsentients who often tune into other peoples’ feelings often find themselves crying on behalf of them, therefore to “feel” someone else’s; emotion can be known as a spiritual gift that reunites us and pulls us together in times of great need.

Crying is also a good way to put us back in touch with who we are, sometimes we simply cry because we are lost and because we don’t know where we are going, but after crying we often feel less confused, similar to that of rain clearing a smog or putting out a fire. On average it is known that men cry once every month and women cry at least five times per month especially before and during the menstrual cycle when crying can increase up to five times the normal rate and men tend to cry between two and four minutes, and women cry for about six minutes.

Crying then turns into sobbing for women in 65% of cases, compared to just 6% for men. So overall, we should be proud of releasing our tears as it is a strong indication that we are deeply in touch with our emotions, if we didn’t cry then the world would be an incredibly dry place as Jerry Bergman writes: “Without tears, life would be drastically different for humans — in the short run enormously uncomfortable, and in the long run eyesight would be blocked out altogether.”

References:
Facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying
http://www.cyquest.com/good_cry.html
Jerry Bergman : http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v15/n4/miracle-of-tears

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