"To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes us from the ability to experience happiness."
I am a "crier". A highly emotional person. I experience great joy as well, and also feel moved by the beauty of life frequently! But if you look at my past, and some of the things that still live in my tissues, you might understand why my quick response is crying. I cry at movies, and for people I care about and ones I don't even know.
I've experienced a lot of "loss" in recent months, so the water works have been in overtime. But here is the cool science-y thing about crying. It is a form of detox.
Emotional tears trigger an area in the cerebellum responsible for registering sadness. A message from your endocrine system that says it is over loaded and in need of releasing or balancing, causes the tears to form. Tears carry stress hormones with them, specifically protein-based hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and Leu-enkephalin; a natural painkiller. Tears even carry NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) which can heal ulcers in the cornea!
In addition, longer periods of crying trigger the production of balancing hormones or endorphins like oxytocin, which ease both physical and emotional pain.
If you have followed me on here long enough, you will know that I am a convert to breath and all the ways it enhances our life/livelihood (See previous blog posts). Well crying, from the time that we are an infant is a means of helping us breathe. How many times have I experienced something new, or frustrating, or scary and the knee jerk
response is to hold the breath? Crying is a sure fire way to get oxygen pumping through your physicality once more. We also learn from a young age it is a method of signaling that we need support, helping us create stronger social safety. There are theories that suggest as we age we grow out of emitting stress signals so outwardly (no need to attract those predators) and tears (minus the wailing) are a way to signal to our pack that something is wrong. The more I learned about crying the more I understood why it is such a uniquely human thing to do, and an integral part of being alive.
Of course as with anything there are extremes. Things may be off chemically if you "can't stop crying" (been there!), or if you never cry EVER (you robot). Seek out a doctor as these can be signs of depression, or another type of endocrine malfunction.
Our body is an amazing network of fluids and tissues and electricity. The electricity (nerves) that take in information from our environment and takes the information to your brain, and your brain interprets it based on stored information of previous
experience, and then signals your tissue/hormones to respond. Based on what information you have stored in your system, it might not take much to trigger the flow of some self soothing tears.
So go ahead and have a good cry, despite the stigma (cry baby) there is no weakness in it and it is likely making you healthier.