As we begin this new Discussion group on Loss and Grief I was thinking about the value of tears. Yes, I did say value!
Many of us grew up without tears. We did not see others crying, we may have been told that we should not cry, perhaps it was even a rule in your home that boys don't cry or crying shows weakness. Sound familiar?
Did you know though that the tears that come from emotions like grief and loss are different than the tears that come from peeling an onion or getting sand in your eyes? It really is so!
Here is a link to an article from Psychology Today about the value of tears. Just click on the link you can read the entire article, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-freedom/201007/the-health-benefits-tears.
I would like to quote a portion of this article for you,
"Emotional tears have special health benefits. Biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” Interestingly, humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears, though it’s possible that elephants and gorillas do too. Other mammals and also salt-water crocodiles produce reflex tears which are protective and lubricating.
Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. You don’t want to hold tears back. Patients sometimes say, "Please excuse me for crying. I was trying hard not to. It makes me feel weak."
How do you feel about tears? Is crying an acceptable way for you to deal with loss? If not, why?
I look forward to hearing from you.