It is the most common thing to deprive ourselves of the release and relief crying can offer due to the stigmas associated to it. For women, the inherent belief is that people might think she is emotionally unstable, or losing it. For men, it's far more harsh and to quote society, "crying is for pussies."
Well guess what, I have been known to cry on occasion and yes, it is a battle to sometimes let go but I'm more than clear on the benefits of crying due to read research and to personal experience.
Being a man, it's hard to just let go and cry due to all the silly notions we have about what crying implies, entails, and reveals of us. That said, crying has always helped me feel better.
Crying is release of pent up tension, sure, but research also reveals that it triggers the release of toxins within, kills bacteria, improves breathing, relaxes muscles, and improves cognitive and emotional states. That's right, a good cry can actually allow us to think better.
Yet still we desist of allowing ourselves our humanity. As a writer, a would be singer-songwriter, and a person, humanity is my topic of choice as is embracing all our sides, all of our emotions, all the joy and pain.
Life is not happy ALL the time. By the same token, it is not sad either. Circumstances happen and how we deal with them will ultimately allow us to enjoy or suffer. Crying is a natural human reaction that has been shunned by people that see it as a lack of strength.
"We need to be strong for this other person."
"I can't cry because I just can't."
"I feel foolish when I cry."
All of these statements are true in the sense that we've heard them, but at the same time all completely false. Being strong for someone doesn't mean you can't cry. From experience, crying with someone, being there for them and showing them it's ok to release and let it go is incredibly healing and therapeutic. We can't cry because we decide not to, because we think it's bad, and it is anything but. As for feeling foolish, then better to be a fool than to break.
Crying is a healthy part of life and completely normal. It is a right we deny ourselves and it does us so much harm to not release, and again, I speak from experience. Some people may say there's a time and a place for everything, especially for crying, and although that may have some truth, it's more often than not a feeble attempt to dilate the process and ignore the fact that we need to cry.
Heartbreak, loss of loved ones, frustration. The variety of reasons to cry is vast and that we insist otherwise just shows that for being a highly evolved species, we're dumb.
Going back to masculinity, being a man, I'm expected by certain circles to never cry. That's because machismo and bravado dictate crying as an act of weakness and like many other things related to groupthink, I completely disagree. I am a man and I cry. Crying does not make me less of a man and it does not make me more of a man either. It makes me human. And beyond gender and physiology, I am human... and so are we all.
So if you need to cry a river, by all means, do so. Find a place where it's safe for you to release although dispense with shame. There are plenty of articles that speak of the benefits of crying. Research continues to demonstrate that as fact and more evidence continues to establish the importance of emotional release. Do you need a trigger to help you cry? Fine. Use it. Though always align a good cry with thoughts that this is healthy, that this is good for you, that this is part of humanity, because it is.
Peace, love, and maki rolls.