In our regular spot where we chat about mental health and wellbeing, a few words on shedding tears – and why you’re supposed to.
Hello and a warm welcome to the spot on the site where we chat about mental health, wellbeing, and things that may be affecting you or people you know. This is a weekly thing we do, and not everything that we run is going to be of use to everyone. The idea is that over the course of these articles, there’s something in there that’s useful somewhere along the line.
This time around, a chat about crying. Something that, over time, has become far more accepted, but it’s a bit odd that some have looked down on it. Emotions eh? Who’s allowed to have them?
It’s a fairly obvious myth to bust but everybody cries. Every single person.
Some may feel they do it too much, some do it too little. But everybody cries. It’s functionality built into the human body for a reason, and I never understand why that’s not fully accepted. It’s actually good for you too. When you cry, just to go a little bit nerdy, it releases endorphins that offer some help in dealing with pain. It can be calming to cry. It’s also externalising things.
The opposite is to bottle things up, and to practice some degree of stoicism. To go along with the bullshit that crying is some sort of sign of weakness.
Accepting that there are times where we all do that a little bit, stoicism is – to my mind at least – the enemy of mental wellbeing. That to a point it can help, but when it comes at the expense of genuine self-care and admitting just how deep problems are running, then it soon shifts into dangerous territory.
These articles are often a collection of contradictions fighting each other, I appreciate, but just to double down: stoicism has a line. There’s a difference between faking happiness for a bit and burying things to the point where they do a lot of damage.
There’s still some degree of a gender stereotype when it comes to crying too. If you’re male, there are pockets of society that expect you to be strong, and manly, and presumably spending a lot of time growling. Crying? Pah. Not allowed, go our forefathers.
Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
However you identify, crying is a vital, vital part of being a human being, and anyone telling you otherwise deserves one of Paddington’s very hardest stares. If you spend a lot of time crying and don’t understand why, then as always, we always recommend finding someone to talk to and chat to. That’s something we come to quite often in this series.
But for the purposes of this piece: if you need to cry, cry. It’s important, it’s what your body is designed to do. I confess I’ve never quite understood the stigma that sometimes seems to exist around crying. It’s very much there for a reason, and should be used.
If you can’t tell, I get a bit angry about this one. The main thing as always is you all stay safe and well, of course. This column will return next week, as usual.
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