These expressions serve as communicative language to some things in which there are no word that fits to utter. We can use them so that other people could relate more of the things we feel, enabling them to gauge how happy, sad, or excited we are at that moment of time. These enable them to respond in a certain way that is most necessary. But in spite of the freedom that we have to express our emotions, why are there people who refuse to let go of their inner selves and portray an outer appearance that doesn’t conform to what they really feel?
If we will just be honest enough to accept the truth within ourselves, this reality mostly happens to all of us, especially when we are about to act in a way that we think is embarrassing to other people’s eyes. The best example is a guy who has been broke up by his girlfriend. Generally, but not always, men carries an ego within them that they must not cry in those situations because that would seem so silly.
Crying is one of the expressions that not even a single normal person could refuse to experience. From our childhood, we communicate to express many things through crying. We cry for the crave of a lollipop, which clearly expresses our strong desire for something. Therefore, those tear ducts are not created for nothing; they were equipped in human’s body to function in certain ways. The fact reveals that we must let them function for the purpose that they have been given.
Study shows that crying has lots of benefits to a human body. To differentiate, crying does not merely refer to the sound, but it refers to letting the tears flow out of our eyes. Some people claim that they cry to themselves without letting their tears flow. It isn’t so. Crying is a process by which we release our emotions and letting them flow accompanied by our tears. Tear has three types: basal, reflex, and emotional. Basal tears keep our eyes wet and lubricated all the time. Reflex tears come out when our eyes are irritated such as when we are cutting onions. Emotional tears flow when we are on the rage of strong emotions – whether positive or negative feelings. Studies revealed that these types of tear contain different amounts of chemical proteins and hormones, thus making them essential to contribute to the function of the body.
Among these three types, emotional tear has been found to be the most beneficial. It contains greater amount of protein than other types have. Recent evidence proves that crying is one way to release toxic substances within our body – an eliminative process that our body undergoes. Aristotle theorized that crying cleanses the mind of suppressed emotions through a process called catharsis: the process of releasing emotion to reduce distress. Emotional tears contain higher level of manganese and hormone prolactin. They contribute to release both of these substances to keep depression away. That is why after crying, there is a feeling of calmness within us that we couldn’t explain. It is caused by the substances released by our lacrimal gland in times of emotional stress. Lacrimal gland is the largest tear gland that produces emotional and reflex tears. When we are being triggered by strong emotions such as pains caused by defeat, sadness, feeling sorry, or lost loved ones, the nervous system stimulates the cranial nerve in the brain and sends signals to the neurotransmitters to the lacrimal gland. At these times, tears will flow from our eyes releasing the emotions that we feel. Crying is characterized not only caused by negative feelings; it can also be caused by extreme happiness. But oftentimes, it is an outlet to release pain.
Crying isn’t the same as grief but it is a way to release grief, the same way as trembling isn’t the same as fear but it is a way to release fear. In spite of the benefits proved by researchers, some people assume that crying is something that is embarrassing to express. The best example for this is men. Naturally, women are the ones who use to release their emotions rather than men, but the benefits of crying highly suggest that men should cry more. Men are characterized by masculinity, strong personality, and braveness. Other men assume that crying does not include their vocabulary. Instead of crying, most of them refuse to feel distress and turn to other things that will capture their attention. It seems endearing to find a person who smiles amidst his sorrows, but isn’t he violating the human’s nature that he must grieve when it is most needed? If men are really strong as they always wanted to show the world, why are 80% of suicidal cases in the US composed by men?
Although we don’t want to single out men as the only ones having the character of refusing to weep, generally, they carry the fact of feeling ashamed to cry. Here enters the so-called “pride”. Pride is defined as a feeling based on one’s sense of worth. Some recognize pride as something that is not acceptable to humanity. We use to dislike persons who are proud enough about their achievements in their lives. But if we will be honest enough, having the feeling of pride is a part of our nature as human beings. It slumbers to each heart, and can only be destructive when became out of control. Uncontrolled pride hinders a person to accept negative opinions, because he bears in mind that he has superiority above anyone else. This will result for someone to block improvement for himself. And before he knows it, he will soon find himself drowning in total helplessness.
Crying is something acceptable in all cultures of humankind all over the world; God had created tear ducts not for nothing. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that humans were created to cry when it is necessary. Give room for yourself to cry and don’t ignore it, unlike other people who are afraid to accept the sadness of defeat and find so hard to accept the undeniable truth of losing the battle. Put down your pride and accept the truth rather than run away from reality and create destructive lies within yourself. Facing shame is a way of winning the battle against our own selves. Accept your limitations and face the real you in front of the mirror. Grieving is a way to honor the pain and a way of accepting our limitations. Let your emotions flow, move into the present, and face another day with a pleasant smile.