It’s Cravings-Crushing Monday, and today, I have a confession. Lately, I’ve become a big crier.
I’ve been that way for nearly four years since my mother died and all those tears began to turbo-charge my healing.
Until recently, I’ve been really embarrassed by all my sobbing in public.
Now. I’m rethinking my attitude. Why should I — or you — be embarrassed if we cry in front of other people?
After all: Crying, the research shows, is good for you.
[shareable cite=”Connie Bennett, The Cravings Ninja”]Cry more, crave [junk foods] less..[/shareable]
For my part, recently, it’s been impossible for me to turn off the waterworks or anticipate when my tears would flow. For instance:
- After Mom passed away, I cried during high-intensity Zumba or spinning classes at the gym, while watching a film with a loving mother and daughter and a myriad of other reasons such as anger, grief, blame, shame, depression, shock and those nagging what ifs.
- The floodgates also opened perhaps hundreds? of times while I wrote and edited the introduction to my next book, Crush Your Cravings and admitted to my own Crazy Cravings after the death of my mother.
- Then, a month ago, while taking three yoga classes at the Seduction of Spirit workshop with the Chopra Center, I had to dart out of the room several times to sob privately in the ladies room. (Yoga, as I’ll share in a future blog post, can unlock your emotions.)
- Two weeks ago, while going indoor skydiving as a group breakthrough activity with our coach, the heart-centered entrepreneur Lisa Sasevich, tears again came out of nowhere. As before, I quickly sought refuge in the bathroom so I could weep alone.
- And this past weekend, while eagerly planning to help millions at the amazing PLF (Product Launch Formula) Live event with Jeff Walker and 1,000 attendees, I had to hurriedly leave the seminar several times to let loose with weeping in the restroom.
Although I’ve been embarrassed and ashamed that I’ve been crying in public places and professional workshops, I now realize that I’ve been wrong.
Crying is very therapeutic.
- Each time, after I shed tears, I felt incredibly relieved, soothed, invigorated.
- After crying, I became determined to help sugar and carb addicts worldwide.
- Plus, the more I’ve cried, the less I craved those crappy carbs that called out to me after losing Mom.
Now I’m curious. Why has crying gotten such a bad rap?
After all, many in our society believe that crying is a sign of weakness. Crying makes many people (especially men) squirm. Or it makes passersby felt a need to ask you, “Are you okay?”
Now, I’m determined to make you realize that crying is a sign of strength and health.
Thanks to cutting-edge crying research, you can clearly see that crying helps us humans. (By the way, we’re the only mammals, who do it.)
It’s sad that society looks so askance at shedding tears, given that it’s very therapeutic.
Crying can even help you recover from a trauma or grueling time. (Indeed, as I mentioned earlier, I’m convinced that crying helped me turbo-charge my healing from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), which I developed after my grueling Bittersweet Last Year With Mom. I’m still looking for research about crying and trauma so if you know of any such studies, please let me know.
Now learn 7 Reasons Crying is Good for you.
- Crying releases cortisol (the stress hormone.), Several studies found that when you shed tears, you’re also shedding cortisol and other stress hormones. This certainly helps explain the feeling of relief and release that many feel after a good cry.
- Sobbing takes your attention away from emotionally charged triggers. After reviewing more than a dozen studies on crying, a team of researchers from The University of Pittsburgh, Tilburg University in The Netherlands and University of Rijeka in Croatia found that crying could be an important self-soothing mechanism. Their research, which was published in Frontiers in Psychology journal, discovered that crying, especially when you do it alone, divers your attention away from an emotionally-charged trigger. Crying, they found, calms “an individual in distress.” (But that wasn’t the case for crying in front of others, which seemed to bring on feelings of embarrassment or concern for the observer’s feelings. Tune in on Wednesday to get 7 Ways Yes, I’m in good company.)
- Crying lowers your distress. A team of researchers from Oxford University in the UK surveyed 31 male and 79 female respondents aged between 18 and 74 and found that 62 percent of those who cried did so “Because I felt that the experience of crying might decrease my distress.” Since many of you drown your sorrows in junk food, a good cry may take you away from this dangerous and unhealthy habit.
- A good cry can make you feel better. Fascinating research from Asmir Gračanin and his team from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands pointed last year in Motivation and Emotion the value of a good cry.
- Crying is a natural function of human biology. Why be embarrassed of something we’re designed to do. Indeed, we humans have a neural connection between the tear duct (called a lacrimonial gland) and the areas of our brain, which are involved with emotion. Perhaps this helps explain why we humans burst into tears when we feel a strong emotion.
- When you’re sick, tears kill germs. Some people cry when they’re sick. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to cry while vomiting. According to a research study published in Food Microbiology, science has uncovered a possible reason for that: Lysozyme, an antibacterial agent found in tears, kills 90 to 95 percent of all forms of bacteria.
- Crying eases physical pain. Further research from The University of Hawaii found that shedding tears releases pleasure-inducing endorphins in your body, which are known to reduce pain and create a feeling of well- being.
Now that I’ve convinced you, I hope, of the value of crying, especially in times of emotional and physical pain, you need to know how to behave around others.
Join us on Wednesday to get 7 Ways to Face Others When You Cry: Stand up and Be Proud that You’re Strong.
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