Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cry Me a River

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Did You Know...
...that emotional tears differ chemically from tears caused by cutting onions? - Dr. William Frey, tear expert

Yes, to quote from the talented but a hot mess in his personal life Justin Timberlake (seriously, who dates that many beautiful gals and never locks it down with a ring like that?) - "cry me a river". Really, go ahead and do it because this post will be about how permitted it is and all the health benefits you will gain by just letting go.

Sometimes crummy things happen to us. Whether we are young or old, things can affect us. When I was younger, whenever my bros would do something to irk me I would let an Aretha-sized scream and start crying until I developed a headache. Or until I got my way, whichever came first. And I won't lie and say I never got my way because come on, I was the only girl out of 4 brothers. I got my way lots of times.

But as I get older there are some crazy things that happen in life that just happen to everyone on the planet at any given moment. My parents get older. My friends parents are getting older. Sadly, they are dying too. The world is getting crazier by the day. Innocent people get hurt needlessly. Ever since I was old enough to read fluently, I have read the daily paper. I would sit next to my dad at the dining room table and pass parts of the paper to him and we would switch off. It was a nice set up. But since that time, I have been addicted to information and the daily news. Mornings I wake up with my TODAY Show podcast. I catch up on my NBC Nightly News podcast the day after broadcast too. (Side note: so if I am a day late contacting any of you friends or family after a disaster please forgive me!)

But because of being aware of the world and a pretty sensitive person, alot of things affect my heart. And I cry sometimes. But I should really cry more. Life is tough and God gave us all that mechanism in our eyes to help us get through it all. Growing up, whenever I would let out a wail due to my perceived injustice at the hands of my brothers, they would counter with a classic imitation of my exact cry at that moment just to make it even worse for me. It's no wonder that my brothers love that part in Dumb and Dumber where they say "Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?"....yep.

Due to the fact that they did that to me alot I didn't cry as much as a young woman. Like in my teens and early 20's. I didn't like feeling vulnerable. It made me feel weak. When I would cry it would be like a Jerry Seinfeld cry.

The whole game changed when I met and married my husband. He taught me that it's okay to cry and he wouldn't think less of me if I did it openly in the kitchen when the first pot of rice I cooked him as a newlywed turned into a pancake. To this day I still don't know how that happened! But he really helped me to get back in touch with that sentimental center that I shut down in my youth. And I thank him for it. And I might cry right now just thinking about him. Give me a moment....okay. I'm good.

So I know that for myself whenever I cry it is like the best thing I could ever do. It feels like it unclouds my brain, clears out my sinuses, releases tension in my shoulders, and cleans out my eyes. Here are a few more benefits to crying according to Neuroscientist and tear researcher Dr. William H. Frey II, PhD, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. Get this, he has spent over 15 years studying crying and tears.

The good Dr. says that
"Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical affects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders."

Here are 5 reasons that crying is great for your mind, body, and soul:
  1. Crying relieves stress. Ever notice how you can deal better with something big on your plate after a good old cry? Unreleased stress can lead to heart attack and even damage some parts of the brain. So let the emotions go.
  2. Crying lowers blood pressure. Along with blood pressure, your heart rate goes down.
  3. Crying removes toxins. Tears can get rid of chemicals built up during emotional stress.
  4. Crying reduces manganese. Manganese is a mineral that affects mood in our bodies and is found in 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. Whoa...
  5. Crying is exclusive to humans. No other species cries when faced with stressful situations. Hooray for the human race!
So feel free to pop in "Steel Magnolias", put on some Cat Stevens and Boyz II Men and let those tears overfloweth!

What sets your tears in motion besides bad news? Movies or music? And which ones?

My best,
* Crying eye pic taken from


Smell Goods Lady said...

Sniff. I enjoyed reading this post, Lynn. Crying truly is good for the soul.

Lynn said...

Lol! Itiel don't cry! No wait...okay you can cry. :o)

My best, Lynn

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