[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Letting down one’s guard and one’s defenses and [crying] is a very positive, healthy thing.”Growing up, we were chastised by adults and sometimes our peers that we shouldn’t cry easily. It was seen as a form of weakness and not an outlet for emotional stress.Even when a loved one hurts us extremely in our childlike minds, we had to hold back the tears because it was readily frowned upon. Sulking was all we did, and if you dared shed a tear, you had to be prepared for a good spanking or reprimanding.
As adults, we’ve learned to develop a thick skin because of this ideology that crying is something to be ashamed of. This is because it is often associated with negative emotions.However, recent findings by psychologists have revealed that crying is ironically a therapeutic way to relieve emotional stress. It is indeed an emotional release mechanism that is useful to your mental health.”Crying activates the body in a healthy way,” says Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at UCLA and director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics. “Letting down one’s guard and one’s defenses and [crying] is a very positive, healthy thing. The same thing happens when you watch a movie and it touches you and you cry… That process of opening into yourself… it’s like a lock and key.”The relief felt afterwards, especially when watching a movie or reading a book is one of the benefits of crying we sometimes don’t recognize. Through it, you can easily rid yourself of all negative emotions causing you pain.Dr Victor Fayomi, a General Practitioner at a private hospital in Gwagwalada, FCT, agrees that crying is therapeutic in managing emotional stress. He disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Nigeria.“Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by letting off a little water. Let your tears flow and where they go, let your sorrow follow. Tears have also flowed as a result of good news, sound health, joy and laughter,” he counselled.Just like everything else, there must be a balance. Crying should not be done excessively but occasionally and should also be done in certain conditions. Such conditions include; crying in private or crying on someone’s shoulders because sometimes having someone around can make you feel better after.Fayomi advised that, “In an attempt at staying healthy, be sure to make your crying occasional; that is, only when indicated. Too much of it, and when too often, may signify a sign of depression. The key is this, cry only when indicated, do it moderately, get refreshed, lighten your mood and move on,” he said.Therefore, whenever you feel that catharsis build up and your feelings go through a purging phase, do your health some good by letting it out through some tears.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]