Tears are good for your emotional balance. Crying is the most efficient healing process and it is free. Babies and children know this, which is probably why they cry so much.
When my clients cry during a session, they usually apologise: “I am so sorry, I’m trying not to cry, but I can’t help it.” It is so sad to witness this. We have learnt that only weak people cry. When this happens, I encourage my clients to welcome their tears.
I’m actually really happy when my clients can’t stop crying. In the end, it stops. Once they have released all their stress, the tears come to a natural stop. This is when I know that I’ve done a good job.
Tears are a blessing.
They are made of salt water like the water from the sea. In French, the word for the sea is “mer”, and the word for mother is “mère”. They are homophones (are pronounced in the same way). If you’re not reading the words, you could confuse them. I think this is significant.
When we cry, we reconnect with the salt water from the womb, which is the best way to heal.
Crying is like detoxification. It’s emotionally cleansing. Repressing tears could lead to depression.
“'We should comfort people without telling them to stop crying,'' Dr Frey observes. ''They do stop crying when they're comforted.’'
Some of the benefits of tears:
- Lubrication of the eyes
- Removal of irritants
- Reduction of stress hormones
- Strengthening the immune system
- Keeps the nose moist and free of bacteria
- After crying, the heart rate decreases and breaths become deeper
What experts say about tears
“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 contains 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.”
Dr Frey, a self-appointed student of ''psychogenic lacrimation”, says that emotionally induced tears have a higher protein content than tears produced in response to irritation, such as that caused by a cut onion.
Chip Walter, an American science writer, says that tears have a role in the evolution of social bonding and social coherence. He explains that tears have contributed significantly to our social development, especially when our ancestors had to leave the jungle to hunt. They were more at risk of being killed and they needed to gather at night because they couldn’t sleep in the trees (they lost all muscle tone during REM sleep). This context has facilitated the need to create a sense of belonging to the social community and necessity to communicate. Chip Walter considers “tears the result of the ‘powerful marriage of intellect and emotion’, allowing humans to reflect their emotions”.
With all these different explanations, there should be no reason to be ashamed of crying, weeping and letting go of your tears.