Dr Megan Johnson McCullough – Shedding tears. Weeping. Wailing. The act of crying results from an emotional state which could be pain, sadness, anger, or happiness. There is a connection between the neurons and the tear duct (lacrimal gland) which comes from the current emotion.
When we were babies, we cried to communicate, but as adults we often try to hold back the tears. We might feel ashamed to cry or weak shedding tears in front of someone else. Statistics say that women cry 3 times a month and men at least once. Humans are the only animals to cry tears.
There are 3 types of tears.
- Reflexive tears: contain chemicals
- Continuous: keep eyes lubricated
- Emotional: responding to happy or sad
But crying can be healthy. Sometimes letting your guard down is just what the body needs.
When you cry, you release tension. Tears contain toxins, so you are releasing them. Crying then
improves your mood. It has a calming effect. When we cry, we activate the parasympathetic
nervous system (PNS) which helps you relax. We feel better after releasing these chemicals.
Tears also help cleanse the eye. When someone else notices you are crying, it can be nice to be
consoled. Emotional tears release endorphins and oxytocin which make people feel good and
reduce pain. You can fall asleep more easily after a good cry.
It isn’t easy to let go and show raw emotion for some people. For others, crying is just part of
how they express themselves. Our emotions take a toll on us and crying is our body’s way to
release. You have to let your body communicate and not be silent. I’ve seen a multitude of
tears at the studio both happy and sad. Our fitness journeys are a whirlwind of emotion filled
with joy, pain, truth, and realness. Sometimes this reality hits us and we are proud our
ourselves, mad at ourselves, or just ready to change and be open to that concept. Don’t be
ashamed of your tears. But hey, let’s aim for those happy ones. You deserve to be happy, and
you deserve to shed happy tears. You are strong tears and all, so let that crying just happen. It’s
natural to cry.