It's OK To Cry, Bro
It really is. I mean that with zero sarcasm. And not just bro's--I personally am granting permission to all people of all genders and backgrounds, to cry, both immediately and at any point in the future.
Crying doesn't have to be a big deal.
I think letting yourself cry helps your relationships--firstly your relationship with self and, as a bonus, with the rest of the people in your life. Crying is self-soothing and can also efficiently enlist help from those around you when you're feeling stuck.
Babies cry for only a few reasons: hunger, gas, pain, confusion. And they bounce back as quickly as they start. I've seen a baby start to cry, then change his mind, and smile. He was and still is a total G. When we get older, the reasons we cry are different. Most adults don't cry because they're hungry (although 'hangry' is a very real state as we have all felt or witnessed), or because they need to burp. We cry when we're processing a huge range of emotion, from sorrow to joy. We cry when we lose. We cry when we win something we worked really hard for. We cry at funerals. We cry at weddings. We cry in movies, happy and sad. We cry when we see the cover art of a children's book our mother read to us back in the day. We cry when song lyrics catch us off guard. We cry when some performance or vista is too beautiful for words. We cry when kids grow up in the blink of an eye. We cry during well-placed Superbowl ads (I'm looking at you, Google).
Q: Are some of these just me?
A: Probably not, but also who cares?
The reason for crying often matters less then the physical and mental benefits of letting yourself do it. Because...
Crying is a near-instantaneous way to go from feeling confused/sad/conflicted/scared to feeling a little better. Emotional crying releases oxytocin and endorphins that can help relieve physical pain and reduce stress. It's a kind of innate self-medication. When you cry, you let go of toxins and stress hormones in your tears and naturally elevate your mood. Research is still being done, but there is already evidence already to say that crying may lead humans to get more restful sleep. Tears also have antimicrobial properties and can help keep your eyes healthy. Bro!
Crying is a badass human feature, and we should give it the time and respect it deserves.
I don't think it's necessary to cry as much as I do... (I mean, you could try, but it's probably impossible). :)
I've been crying kind of regularly. Not necessarily inconveniently. Not because I'm perpetually sad. Often because I'm happy. Just about anything can trigger the crying:
Elsa's quick change in Frozen on Broadway (I guess I've been a fan of Frozen all along)
The second verse of Beyonce's 'Hold Up' ('Would they be down to ride? No.')
A really kind text from a friend I haven't talked to in a while (You know who you are!)
My yoga teacher starting this morning's final Savasana with: 'Just so you know, it's OK to tell someone you love...that you love them. Namaste.' (Honestly, why this got me I have no clue, but it did and I lay there sweating, chest heaving, just trying to keep my sobs quiet. It is nowhere near the first time I have cried in yoga, and honestly those cries are usually the best).
This powerful release of tears and stress might be triggered by something more random but it doesn't generally feel attached to any event or thought. It's as if my body is saying: "Is this an OK time to release some stuff? We have a bag here labelled: STUFF WE DON'T NEED."
I used to hold back more. I used to say, "Nah. Crying doesn't solve anything" (literally a quote from all our childhoods). At some point, I realized that crying can't 'solve' problems like a detective. But it can 'resolve' feelings and toxic thoughts so we can check in with ourself and move on to a solution. Sometimes it helps to surrender to the idea that (and this will be a whole blog unto itself): your body very often is 'smarter' than your conscious brain.
Your body knows what you need to heal and to feel better. It's not betraying you when it sends you into a cry-spiral in the middle of a work day. It's pushing you to process and resolve your sh*t so you can do better work and enjoy more moments with less stress.
Who's with me?
'Happy Cry' Bonus Vids (Just...if you need it, or whatever):
Good People: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaWA2GbcnJU
Good Singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNcdjU4Cjlk