In our day to day life, we experience several unnamed emotions due to which our chest starts to feel heavy by the end of the day. We are taught to keep it together as we are not children anymore; we are expected to bury our emotions and not cry. One cannot let others know that they feel weak and helpless. Hence, we take a long breath, smile and start counting seconds before everybody goes to sleep. Once no one is around, we burry ourselves under the protection of that thick blanket, tightly hug our pillow and finally, allow those tiny droplets flow down our puffed cheeks. We silence those screams by purring a hand on our mouth and eventually drift off to sleep. In other times, we don’t even give ourselves the privilege of crying in secret as we absolutely refuse to be a “Cry Baby.”
Have you ever stopped before swallowing those tears back and asked yourself why you have to do that? Why you can’t be miserable and not worry about other people at the same time? Before pulling over that blanket, have you ever wondered for a second?
Misconceptions related to crying
In our society, crying is considered as a proof of being weak. If someone cries, then he or she is losing control over their emotions and mind or being overdramatic. These are the kind of statements we come across when we start becoming aware of our surroundings. This tradition has been in continuance since infancy. Usually, when an infant cries endlessly, it is easily believed that the parents are not taking good care of the child or that the child has temperament issues.
According to psychologists, infants cannot form words to let us know what they feel or want. Hence, the only way they can get our attention is by crying. If they are hungry, sleepy or hurt they will convey it by crying. Even an infant experiences the most basic emotions, a mere fact that many adults fail to understand.
Another very important aspect of this topic is gender bias. A number of parents have a tendency of telling their sons that boys do not cry. This is why according to a survey, boys are more likely to have bottled up emotions than girls. While it is considered normal for girls to cry in our society, at times they are expected to cry even on the tiniest of matters which is not healthy.
Such perceptions prevail because we have instilled the idea in the minds of people that crying is abnormal and it indicates mental imbalance. Such misconceptions were made and carried on by the people around us. Hence, in order to rise above these distorted ideas, it is important to understand the processes and reasons behind this not so rudemantary act of crying.
Why do we cry in the first place?
Crying is a result of physical and mental systems of our body working together in order to process our emotional stress and reduce the pain. When emotions are held back, such as swallowing or holding back tears, the emotional energy gets congested in the body. Instead of circulation of emotional force, the cycle gets disrupted and stops. Consequently, we tend to have emotional outbursts. This further could have serious consequences. When someone cries, the common reaction is to make the crying stop. This tends to put a full stop on the relief that they were supposed to get after letting out their emotions by crying.
Crying is a way of letting out our emotions. It does not happen only when we are sad. After all, we experience tears of happiness as well. It is just a symbol of overwhelming emotions that we carry in ourselves from time to time. Crying is a very basic and normal phenomenon. We were born crying and it is the case of not crying that initiates the problem and worry. When this entire process is so natural, then how can it be a sign of weakness?
How can the process of bottling up be reversed?
The entire process of bottling up emotions can be reversed before it does any major damage. The steps mentioned below are very simple and all they require is continuous conscious effort.
• The most basic step towards avoiding this situation is to be patient with the kids from the beginning. Parents should tell their children that it’s normal to cry and it is not a sign weakness. Children should be educated that crying is a sign of strength and that they are not afraid to show the world their tears. As it is not anything to be ashamed of, it shows that one is comfortable with their own self.
• If the family roots are strong, the effect of peer pressure on the child decreases. Hence, it is very important to talk to them about their feelings so that they know how to express their emotions, recognize them and differentiate them.
• Writing a diary should be made a habit. It helps in venting out and children learn to find a safe space to “talk it out” when they seem weary of talking to another person.
• Meditation on regular basis can help synchronise our thoughts and help in emotional balance.
If this doesn’t help, the individual can try “DBT therapy.” Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy that utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach. In this therapy, the individual sits in a group and talks to people who are going through the same phase as them. Listening to their stories helps them to surface all those buried emotions and this helps them to start talking to people. It helps them to get over all those so called norms stigmatized by the society but it is to be done with consultation of a therapist and in the presence of same.
In conclusion, crying is not a sign of helplessness. It is an understanding of yourself with your own emotions and decisions. It is to let out and be relieved. It is a way by which our body heals itself in its own way. So one should not be afraid to cry. It is as normal as it is to laugh.
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