Crying is a Release, Not a Weakness.
Crying is a release, not a weakness. The sixth in a series of ten articles from the book, Women’s Emotional Wellness by Robert Hoffman.
Women Cry to Express Many Different Feelings and Emotions
‘Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.’ – Antoine Rivarol
There is a behavioral response associated with women that some people crudely view unfairly, and that is crying. As a characteristic, this trait is often looked upon rather disapprovingly, especially by men, because superficially, it is labeled as a sign of weakness.
Crying is a basic instinctual response that all people have. For many, their first breath when they were born was announced with a glorious peal of howling. It was rejoiced! During our first months of life, it is crying that prompted our caregivers to rush to our side, concerned and alert, to find out if we are cold, uncomfortable, or hungry.
Crying is our basic language long before we learned our first words. It is only after we have grown sufficiently independent of this basic care that the act of crying becomes labeled as something else.
Sure, women do take the prize in studies that rank who cry more frequently between men and women. According to scientific findings, women tend to cry more often because of a hormone called Prolactin. This hormone is responsible for milk production in nursing mothers. Testosterone, on the other hand, quells or inhibits crying.
Women cry for different reasons, the most common one being from overwhelming emotion. Women may cry because they are happy or sad or extremely angry. These are tears of overwhelming happiness, overwhelming sadness, grief, anger and frustration, and a hundred more reasons.
Tears of Happiness and Joy
When women cry where joy overflows their hearts, a sense of euphoria fills them. Even if that woman is going through a tough period in their life, albeit temporarily, all her worries and fears become momentarily nonexistent if she can cry with joy. Tears of joy stimulate eustress, which is positive stress.
Eustress helps elevate to a brighter mood and helps to stabilize the heart rate. In the aftermath of a happy crying episode, a woman is left feeling overcome with a warm loving feeling.
Tears of Sadness
When women cry because of sadness, the weight of the world feels like it is crushing them. The intensity and depth of their sad emotions are somewhat released through crying. It all depends on the gravity of their unhappiness.
When someone cries out of sadness, that person feels alone and vulnerable. They may feel that nobody cares or loves them. Tears of sadness are a signal that the woman needs somebody to provide her with comfort.
While sadness might feel painful at that moment, crying initiates a cleaning process. It opens the floodgates of internal emotional pressure to gush forth and remove the emotional burden. Crying is good for a woman’s emotional health.
Tears of Anger
When females cry due to anger, they feel an overwhelming sense of emotion. The woman crying out feels aggressive and often has the urge to destroy or hurt the person or people who have wounded her.
Many things trigger tears of anger. For example, it can be caused by being at the receiving end of bullying behavior, or it can be caused by a lover’s betrayal and rejection. Tears of anger may occur after learning the unfortunate news of a loved one being killed.
Just like tears of sorrow, tears of anger have a cathartic benefit. Tears of anger clear and wash away excessive emotions that cloud the judgment. It can also help a person calm down and restore balance after being triggered emotionally. After all, after a good cry, it feels better, doesn’t it? This is because the result of a crying episode is self-soothing.
Crying also relieves pain. It does this when our body releases the hormones endorphin and oxytocin after the first wave of crying. It is why when we sleep after having a good cry, or if we fall asleep while crying, we wake up feeling better.
Don’t be Ashamed
So don’t be ashamed to cry! It’s good to have a cry. Instead of trying not to cry for fear of being judged negatively or weak, instead, think of the positive benefits.
Crying is not a negative action. The more we learn about this adaptive mechanism, the more we understand how it promotes health and vitality, especially for women. Instead of ostracizing anyone who is brave enough to show their feelings, extend a supportive shoulder for them to cry on.