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People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

As a culture obsessed with appearance, strength and achievement, it is easy to see why crying is not on the list for most desirable traits. We consider crying messy and weak. If you are doing life right, then there won’t be a reason to cry. People who cry a lot are often categorized as overly emotional or erratic. And while that may be true for some, in reality, people who cry a lot ‘have it together’ in the ways that count.

Here are 8 reasons why people who cry often are actually mentally stronger than the rest of the pack.

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1. They are healthier

Stuffing those emotions down is not healthy for anyone. When under stress, it is common in our culture to celebrate those who can ‘tough it out’. In reality, unchecked stress leads to a load of health issues such as an increased risk for heart attack, anxiety and high blood pressure. According to Dr. William H. Frey, crying alleviates stress both for the mind and the body. He says that crying in fact, lowers cholesterol levels and decreases a chemical that can lead to anxiety. To further support this, researchers from the University of Southern Florida suggest that crying is a way to restore us physiologically and psychologically. When it comes to taking care of their mental and physical health, people who cry often have the right idea.

2. They are happier

It is common misconception that frequent criers are the saddest people. On the contrary, crying improves your mood. In a research study conducted by Dr. Frey, 88.8% of participants found that they had an improved mood after shedding tears. Crying provides a flood of emotional relief that allows us to leave the sadness behind. We all have a reason to cry at some point in life, and those who embrace a good cry are able to address their pain and look towards a brighter tomorrow.

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3. They are braver

Whether you believe that vulnerability is strength or weakness (it is a strength), there is no denying that it is a challenge. It takes a brave person to allow your emotions to be exposed in front of other people. Those who cry are knowingly inviting people into their heart at the risk (or likelihood) of being judged, misunderstood or belittled. Most of us aren’t willing to be vulnerable for this reason, yet the criers take the risk. Now, who said crying is a weakness?

4. They are better communicators

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe the same goes for crying. People who cry often have a knack for communication. Through tears we offer an honest and meaningful picture of our hearts. It is a common practice for people who cry a lot to use this to express themselves. This only enhances their ability to communicate in other ways.

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5. They have better relationships

Vulnerability is what connects people on a deeper level and crying is vulnerability at its finest. Allowing someone in to your heart in such an unmasked way is a risk that can bring great reward. People who cry a lot experience the connection with others that comes from being vulnerable with others. For friends who are trustworthy and true, the benefit of allowing them to witness your tears is often a deeper and more connected relationship.

6. They are more honest

Tears are authentic. As they roll down your face, you can’t help but admit to yourself what you are feeling. Crying is not only brave, but is an honest reflection of the heart. People who cry a lot are frequently facing their own reality. When anyone can admit to the state of their soul, it leads to a more honest life.

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7. They have a better understanding of themselves

Those who cry often are more likely to have strong self awareness. They seek to understand their own emotions. Self awareness is a state that is achieved through time and practice. People who cry a lot have had more practice dwelling on the inner workings of their mind and heart. It’s often true that people who don’t let loose and cry often struggle to explain or understand their emotions.

8. They more fully experience life

Life is truly full of highs and lows. No one can make it through without experiencing joy and suffering. People who cry more often, whether sad or happy tears, are able to feel the emotions that add color to life. Suffering and joy go hand in hand, in that you cannot numb one and still experience the other. People who cry more often enhance their overall quality of life by refusing to numb and embracing the ride for what it is.

No matter your gender, personality type or circumstances in life, it is easy to see the benefits of a good cry. If you want to fully experience a healthy and strong mind, consider letting those tears roll free.

Featured photo credit: Aleshyn_Andrei via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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