Crying is seen as a weakness.
I find a lot of people prefer hiding their emotions and tears, which is also fine, but reinforcing to others that it’s a sign of weakness. I also find that amongst boys, it’s seen as weak, ‘gay’ and ‘girly’.
Today I’m going to tell you why it’s not.
It’s going to get a little science-y but I hope it’s not too confusing! When you’re stressed and depressed, your hypothalamus, in your brain, basically instructs the pituitary gland (the ‘master gland’ that controls secretion of hormones) to order the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. Cortisol is, basically, released to combat and deal with stress.
However, excess cortisol or high levels of cortisol can be really damaging, for example, it can cause:
- High blood pressure (could lead to strokes)
- Insulin resistance (can cause type 2 diabetes)
- Carbohydrate cravings (provoking you to binge eat)
- Fat deposits on face, neck and belly
- Suppressed immunity (weakened immune system)
- Loss of muscle mass (so actual physical weakness)
- Loss of calcium from bones (again, physical weakness)
- Loss of cognitive function (e.g. reduced memory, problem solving, etc)
Crying, however, releases excess cortisol in your tears.
The behaviour we do and the bodily functions we contain are there for a reason, no matter what you believe.
If you believe in Darwin’s theory, then you know that everything that aids us in survival will carry on in future generations and our genes that help us succeed in survival and reproduction will get passed on. Crying is something that has been passed on to EVERYONE so it’s not there for no reason. Why do you think we feel like crying when we’re sad? It doesn’t happen for no reason!
If you believe in God, then surely God would have put the behaviour of crying in you for a reason.
I could go on.
Emotional crying is there for a reason. You don’t need to suppress it.
At the same time, do not wallow in your tears forever because too much of something, as you probably already know, is bad. Even vegetables.
And if you don’t trust me, trust Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at UCLA and director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics. He stated that stress “tightens muscles and heightens tension, so when you cry, you release some of that” and crying “activates the parasympathetic nervous system“, which is involved in resting your body and digestion, “and restores your body to a state of balance.”
So if you think crying is weak, remember that not crying can actually weaken you.
It’s okay to cry.