Tears of slow

Happy Sunday all!

I’m currently lying on the sofa, snuggled up in a blanket, no make-up, hair a mess, eating Pip and Nut coconut and almond butter straight out of the tub.

Side note: If you’ve never tried Pip and Nut coconut and almond butter, then GO AND GET SOME RIGHT NOW. It’s a game changer (also a bank balance breaker).

Yesterday was a complete wash out – it chucked it down pretty much all day. At first I was pretty bummed, but actually it’s the first weekend day like that in ages, and it kinda forced me to take a slow day. After a chilled out run I napped, watched Netflix, did some work for an exciting new personal project I’ve got coming up, read and did newspaper puzzles (it’s a weird little obsession of mine).

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Which was pretty much exactly what was good for me after this last week. It’s been a week of a zillion unexpected problems, and also times where I’ve had a bog standard meeting but my brain has gone into overdrive anxiety mode. At one point I was sat with my manager 2 minutes before a meeting started, bawling my eyes out, with him trying to postpone all the other attendees. (Could not be more thankful for such an amazing and understanding manager).

It led me to thinking about crying. I get SO FRUSTRATED when I cry, particularly at work. I feel like it’s not helpful, that it’s just getting in the way, stopping me from thinking or doing the work that I’m meant to be doing. That it’s weak and pathetic.

However if someone else was crying I wouldn’t think of it that way. In fact I don’t think any of us would? We may be shocked that we hadn’t realised that behind their front they were struggling. But we would be concerned. We would want to help. We wouldn’t judge.

And crying may serve many purposes. Think about babies. They cry because they need to communicate that they need something. And that is just what we’re doing when we cry. We’re distressed, and we need help and support. It can help bring people closer to us at the times we need them most.

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It can also be a release, helping us identify things that are causing us grief, and also providing an outlet for the negative emotions. Crying also releases endorphins and a natural painkiller – all which can help to contribute to that belief that we feel better after a good cry. However it’s worth noting that people who are suffering from anxiety and depression may not actually feel better after crying (something I’ve found from time to time recently).

But even if those endorphins aren’t making us feel better, or social anxiety makes us dread the social attention we get from shedding a tear, there are still benefits from crying.

For me, crying is forcing us to take a moment of slow. It’s our bodies waving the red flag, and incapacitating us long enough for us to take some time for ourselves. Sure, we may not consider mascara running down our faces, blotchy faces and noses streaming as our ideal way of taking time for ourselves, but it’s probably pretty damn effective.

Not only does it really highlight that things are a bit too much right now, and that we maybe need to consider taking some serious self care, but it can create a space for us to evaluate why we’re crying. What has gotten us into this state. Even if the answer is “so and so said something mean to me” we should ask why this has upset us. Sure, it’s not nice that person has said something negative, but are we upset because we need to build our self-esteem, are we upset at the state of the world where people can say negative things without a second thought? Once we take the time to do this we’ll learn to understand ourselves a bit better, and start to make ourselves more resilient (even if this journey will take some time). It is all part of our life journeys of self-understanding.

How about you? Do you love crying or hate crying? What do you notice after a good sob?

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