Crying and Other Ways Of Dealing With Emotional Distress

I don’t cry. That’s it. Of course, I did cry when I was a baby, but I was told to swallow it up, man up, and stop crying when I was a child. I never did it again. Well, I did lose a tear when my grandmother and my dog passed away. In both cases, it was a lonely tear, but that was it. Since then, I’m on a mission to cry again, as I know it is perfect for dealing with negative emotions and becoming a more happy and complete individual overall. After all, one of the most common happiness advice is to “cry” and “let it all out.” Finally, I have put together all my findings regarding crying, and I am happy to share my results.

Why Do We Cry

Today, finally, I understood why people cry. It happened over an innocent conversation at a cafe, whereas a girl (let’s call her Mary) told me that she cries regularly. She does not have to be sad, angry, or have any other negative emotion to cry. She can be happy, and she will cry, too. She can “be” and cry. For her, it comes easy and natural. I guess she is the opposite.

So you might be wondering how did I convince Mary to talk about crying. Well, I love to talk about happiness, so lately, I’ve been asking people about their favorite ways of escaping the stress and emotional pain. The idea here is that everyone has a favorite way of running these emotions, and we practice them daily. My path to escape stress, for example, is to eat a lot of snacks, to watch movies and series, and I am especially addicted to sugary food. I’m surprised that I’m not fat! Of course, this is not relevant to the crying story, but I like to eat healthy snacks, so this is why I’m not fat.

Still, when I asked the girl this question, she did not seem to have anything special she would do. I pushed forward, asking her what happens when she is harmful or experiences many negative emotions. She had to think about it for a while, and she said, “crying,” explaining the story above. This was finally the answer I was looking for a while regarding my own “crying” question, whereas we cry to release emotions. So when things get too emotional, when the barometer of emotional intensity picks, we all have our favorite way to release these emotions, and one of the right ways to do so is to cry.

Story Of Emotionally Numb Person

For me, emotional release is a way of emotionally numbing myself. In the past, I used to play video games, avoiding human contact, and doing pretty much everything under the moon in an attempt to emotionally numb myself. I told myself that it was irrational to have emotions and that emotions were only getting in the way of doing what’s logical and right. Little did I know that feelings told me precisely what I should and should not do and that by numbing myself, I was becoming blind to that difference. Indeed, I was unable to see if behavior was morally right or wrong. I could not understand and connect with other people. At my previous jobs, I got into many problems for being an “insensitive robot.” Even my health was affected by doing a lot of emotionally numbing behavior, which could not persist.

In the end, I learned to embrace emotions, which helped me to become more of a stable and complete individual. This is why I started this blog, which is ironic as the most “rational” and “emotionless person” is writing so much about our emotions. In my mind, this contrast is good because I can write about something as irrational as emotion in the most rational way possible. But, I still can’t cry. Maybe I don’t allow myself to do so, and one day, my emotional dumb will be opened, and I will let it all out. This day is not today. For now, I can only tell you that you should cry and that it is beneficial to do so.

Benefits Of Crying

Biologically speaking, crying is okay. It relaxes our body and releases stress, numbing chemicals, and hormones that enhance our immune system and work as pain kills. Crying is especially useful in overly emotional situations when a person perceives a significant problem or loss regarding something in their lives. By crying, we are likely to become more relaxed, which can even help us fall asleep, a great biologically pre-programmed mechanism of dealing with extreme distress.

Moreover, tears make us vulnerable, and people are likely to help if they see us cry, meaning that we can get support from others when we cry.

Other Ways To Deal With Overwhelming Emotions

There are different ways of how we can deal with our emotions. We already saw that we could cry, eat, play a video game, and watch movies. To this list, we can add: doing sports, smoking, drinking, talking to people, having sex, and pretty much everything else on this planet. Interestingly enough, we can divide all these behaviors into “healthy” and “unhealthy” way of releasing emotions. The healthy habits (from the list above) are talking to people, do sport, and even having sex. The problem, however, becomes when we do something good too much.

For example, I met this one gorgeous girl who would do sports obsessively. This is why she was beautiful, but she had this darkness deep inside that told her to exercise too much. The problem with over-exercising starts when we can hurt ourselves by pushing our bodies too much. Or more sport is more likely to lead to extreme sport, which also has a higher rate of injury and fatality. Or in the case of sex, a person can start sleeping with unhealthy partners or doing some other behavior that can lead to them getting raped or worst.

This is all to say that we should all know our favorite way to escape. If it is negative, we should replace it with a positive one. But even if it is a positive way, we should be aware not to take that behavior to an extreme. I guess the best way to achieve this is to have several positive ways of escaping or knowing healthy ways to deal with stress in the first place. This way, we can prevent getting overwhelmed by our emotions. Some ideas for positive ways to release tension are meditation, following a personal journal, writing about your emotional life, or having an activity lifestyle. In contrast, we stay active in our lives and communities.

How To Identify Your Favorite Way To Escape

To finalize, please take 5 minutes to reflect on your favorite ways of escaping. As mentioned before, try to think of when you get overly stressed, or something extremely negative happens in your life. What did you want to do to release extreme emotions? What did you want to do to numb these emotions? This something is supposed to make you relaxed, feel good about yourself, and make you forget about the pain.

If you are open to it, please share your favorite way of dealing with negative emotions and stress, as I did so in this post. Your revelation may help yourself and others to shed some light on many ways how we deal with extreme emotions in our life. Thank you for reading!

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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