Lisa Lo Paro
March 16, 2016 12:57 pm
E!

The phrase “never let them see you cry” is a powerful motivator. It means that no matter how upset you are, the minute you start to show emotion, you lose all your power. “Conceal, don’t feel,” to quote some little, unknown Disney movie. Well, as it turns out, science knows that the opposite is true, and Science is here to tell you that crying is healthy, and that you should fight the stigma of being emotional. Let it go, if I may. Here’s why crying is a good thing, and why you should never be ashamed to be emotional.

Being vulnerable can actually make you stronger

Many people feel like being vulnerable makes you weak, but being vulnerable actually gives you emotional strength. As you probably know, it’s not easy to cry in front of someone you know and love, because showing vulnerability means opening yourself up to be hurt and potentially become sadder. But those who cultivate a level of comfort with being vulnerable are actually more emotionally stable! Makes sense, right? Being comfortable showing your emotions means you’re not afraid of succumbing to them. Plus, letting your emotional guards down around those you love only helps grow that bond between you.

Crying relieves stress, and makes us feel a whole lot happier

It’s true: our tears have the ability to cleanse toxins from our bodies that tend to build up during stressful times. Also, it’s suggested that the act of crying releases endorphins, which, as Elle Woods knows, make us happy! So really, crying isn’t a way to make ourselves sadder, it’s a way to get through sadness and into happiness, and lends us a greater capacity to deal with the things in our lives that are causing the sadness.

We think that if we suppress emotion, it’ll just go away and that could not be more wrong. Letting ourselves feel bad is essential to make ourselves feel better. Crying is a release, and the way to get us from “Everything is terrible” to “Ok, you know what? I got this.” Actually, it’s proven that 85% of women and 73% of men feel better after crying, than if they’d pushed down their emotions and never dealt with them. Huge tick on the “Pro” side for crying.

It’s good for your creative process

So you may not be a famous artist or anything, but creativity is a natural human process, and every job, even if you aren’t in the arts, is creative in some way. But if you are a fledgling artist, writer, filmmaker, dancer, what-have-you, crying is an all-but-essential practice to really feel what you’re making. If it’s not powerful for you, it won’t be powerful for your audience. Crying puts us in touch with those dark corners inside of us, translating our sadness into something immensely rich, rewarding, and relatable. If art is human, then crying helps get us there.

Crying is a good thing, but it doesn’t mean that it’s socially acceptable. There’s still a stigma against tears. But
there has to come a time for people to realize that crying makes us better able to get stuff done, not the other way around. It’s time to stop policing the emotions of women and men, because crying has undeniable health benefits, and should never be regarded as a negative. We should be proud of our ability to feel emotion deeply, we should be comfortable sharing those emotions and forging bonds with the people we love, and we should work to change the perception that tears are a weakness.
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