Monday, 8 October 2012

Can A Good Cry Be The Answer?

As a British woman I have grown up with the British stigma that still seems to be around about the stiff upper lip. Whilst there is a time to show emotions, not just sadness but also happiness, sometimes all we need is a good cry and then we can start to laugh about life again.       

In Japan, crying is expected and there is even a “crying boom”. Instead of karaoke bars after work to wind down, business people watch weepy films called “tear films” in crying clubs, to help them let go of the day.

Whilst I am not suggesting that we all join crying clubs, it may be time realise that it is ok to cry, sometimes you just need to let it out. It is not a sign of weakness, quite the opposite. Many things in life do need to be mourned over and you often need time to heal. Whilst I believe in the power of laughter and positive thoughts I also believe in forgiving yourself and allowing yourself the time to heal. Life is a roller coaster and the “downs” help you to learn and appreciate the “ups”. You can have a good cry, let it all out, clear away the cobwebs and then laugh away with a new energy having let goof the old sadness.

'When you're upset and stressed, you have an imbalance and build-up of chemicals in the body and crying helps to reduce that,' says Dr Abigael San, chartered clinical psychologist.

New research is showing that tears could actually be a way of flushing out negative chemical from our bodies. So why is it good to allow yourself to cry?
Research has found three types of tears:

Basal Tears

Basal tears contain Lysozyme, a powerful and fast acing antibacterial and antiviral agent. This is the layer of protective fluid that covers our eyeballs. This fluid is secreted by the lachrymal glands, which sit above each eye. Without this basal fluid our eyes would be in danger of drying out and become susceptible to bacterial attack.

Eye Watering

One of the most important functions crying can have is to protect our eyes from irritants and foreign bodies, such as dust or getting rid of the acidic fumes when cutting onions. These tears are known as reflex tears. When our eyes come under attack from irritants, the lachrymal glands in our eyes start stimulating more fluid to wash away the irritant and drain it from the eye.

Emotional/stress-related tears

A study by Dr William H.Frey II, a biochemist at the St Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre in Minnesota, found that there is an important chemical difference between emotional or stress-related tears and those simply caused by physical irritants – such as when cutting onions. They found that emotional tears contained more of the protein-based hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and Leucine Enkephalin (a natural painkiller), all of which are produced by our body when under stress.

'Crying can help release tension and stress, as well as expressing emotions,' says Dr Abigael San,chartered clinical psychologist.

Crying is a natural part of us, just as is laughing. If you are crying all the time and feel like you can never find that high point, then you might need help to realise a feeling or help cope with stress. But it is ok to have a cry every now and then, to allow your body that emotional release. You will be surprised how much better you feel after it.

Sometimes we need to allow the tears out to make way for the laughter and those positive thoughts.

Hypnotherapy, CBT & NLP can help you to deal with any stressors you have or grievances that you feel you need to “let go” of or “deal” with, so that you can laugh more and cry through tears of laughter instead of sadness.

© EKTherapies

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