Crying Is Good For You

Today was a rough one. Trace was very hard to handle. He threw, hit, was rude and pushy. It was all too much for a mama who didn't sleep very well last night (these pregnancy nightmares are driving me nuts). I got through most of the day running on very low energy and admittedly brushing off most of the constant talking he filled the house with. There are days where I can talk and talk with him for hours on end, but today was not one of those days. 
My aunt came to visit us and I was in desperate need for adult communication but no matter how much I tried to keep a conversation going with her and distract the kids in the play room simultaneously it just didn't work. Trace talked over everything we were saying, getting progressively louder as each word came out of my mouth. He began to push and nudge to get the attention he was craving. Inside I was seething. I tried my best to stay calm and explain I was talking and that it was rude to interrupt but this time, like every other time, he did not listen. 
My aunt left and I began making the kids their lunch. They had barely eaten all day and what they did have was eaten hours ago. They must have been starving, I know Phoenix was at least. As I proceeded to make their food all I could hear from the dining room was Trace moaning and complaining that he had to eat. Over and over. And over and over I told him that he needed to. Until finally at the most unexpected time I burst into tears. I was so beyond my exhaustion point. My nerves were fried and all I desperately wanted was a nap. I quickly shed my tears and sobbed over the peanut butter and jelly I was preparing then wiped my eyes and headed out to brave the rest of the day. 
As much as I had been holding my emotions in, I let go and it felt wonderful. Sometimes a mommy needs to cry a little. Especially a mommy of two toddlers who is battling the lung capacity of a mouse and the energy of a sloth. This hybrid preggo mama needed the time to herself to feel a little. And in turn, I felt a little better.

And for more proof check out 7 reasons why crying is good for you...

1. Tears Help Us See
The most basic function of tears is that they enable us to see. Literally. Tears not only lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids, they also prevent dehydration of our various mucous membranes. No lubrication, no eyesight. Writes Jerry Bergman: “Without tears, life would be drastically different for humans—in the short run enormously uncomfortable, and in the long run eyesight would be blocked out altogether.”

2. Tears Kill Bacteria
No need for Clorox wipes. We’ve got tears! Our own antibacterial and antiviral agent working for us, fighting off all the germs we pick up on community computers, shopping carts, public sinks, and all those places the nasty little guys make their homes and procreate.

Tears contain lysozyme, a fluid that the germ-a-phobe dreams about in her sleep, because it can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria in just five to ten minutes! This translates, I’m guessing, to three months’ worth of colds and stomach viruses.
3. Tears Remove Toxins
Biochemist William Frey, who has been researching tears for as long as I’ve been searching for sanity, found in one study that emotional tears—those formed in distress or grief—contained more toxic byproducts than tears of irritation (think onion peeling). Are tears toxic then? 

No! They actually remove toxins from our body that build up courtesy of stress. They are like a natural therapy or massage session, but they cost a lot less!
4. Crying Can Elevate Mood
Do you know what your manganese level is? Neither do I. But chances are that you will feel better if it’s lower because overexposure to manganese can cause bad stuff: anxiety, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, aggression, emotional disturbance, and the rest of the feelings that live inside my head rent-free.

The act of crying can actually lower a person’s manganese level. And just like with the toxins I mentioned in my last point, emotional tears contain 24 percent higher albumin protein concentration—responsible for transporting small (toxic) molecules--than irritation tears.
5. Crying Lowers Stress
Tears really are like perspiration, in that exercising and crying both relieve stress. In his article, Bergman explains that tears remove some of the chemicals built up in the body from stress, like the endorphins leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin. The opposite is true too. Bergman writes, “Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.

6. Tears Build Community
In her Science Digest article, writer Ashley Montagu argued that crying not only contributes to good health, but it also builds community. I know what you’re thinking: “Well, yeah, but not the right kind of community. I mean, I might ask the woman bawling her eyes out behind me in church what’s wrong or if I can help her, but I’m certainly not going to invite her to dinner.”

I beg to differ. As a prolific crier, I always come away astounded by the resounding support of people I know, and the level of intimacy exchanged among them. Read for yourselves some of the comments on both my self-esteem file video my death and dying video and you’ll appreciate my point. Tears help communication and foster community.
7. Tears Release Feelings
Even if you haven’t just been through something traumatic or are severely depressed, the average Joe goes through his day accumulating little conflicts and resentments. Sometimes they gather inside the limbic system of the brain and in certain corners of the heart. Crying is cathartic. It lets the devils out before they wreak all kind of havoc with the nervous and cardiovascular systems. As John Bradshaw writes in his bestseller Home Coming, “All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble.”

(borrowed from: Divine Caroline)

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