I cry a lot–and if you don’t, you’re honestly missing out

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Tamara Frieson, Contributor

Anxiety is something that many undergraduate college students experience in their lifetime. There are many things at this point in our young adult lives that we worry about, like, if we’re ever going to get that dream job, if we’re capable of maintaining the relationships we already have (along with the new ones we make along the way) or if we’re going to remember to drink water (because, for some reason, that’s extremely stressful). Nevertheless, there are strategies that I use to free myself from bouts of crippling anxiety. My number one method is crying.

I cry a lot. You can ask my best friend, my family, my boyfriend or anyone that knows me well, and they will confirm that statement. I’m not saying I’m always sad, but a good cry can be highly enjoyable. I cry when I’m happy, sad, overwhelmed or sometimes even when I’m bored. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a very emotional person, but not in an awkward Bella Swan from Twilight kind of way. It’s more like I have to let out my emotions, or I will go crazy. For me, it’s important that I never let emotions build up, or things will go south very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an extremely extroverted, optimistic and enthusiastic teenage girl, but crying is a detox for the soul and is sometimes very needed.

My (least) favorite thing is when people blame teenage girls or young adult women’s emotions on their hormones, saying, “it’s probably just PMS,” or “her hormones must be going crazy today” or even “her period must be about to start.” Although these assumptions have the possibility of being true, hormones can do a lot for the female body, but that’s not the reason I’m crying every single time. Think about it this way: tears are a reaction to increased stress levels through triggered emotions; so, crying can actually be healthy.

A study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that shedding tears also helps to decrease stress. Emotional tears carry higher levels of stress hormones that release positive endorphins, chemicals sent to the brain making you feel warm and fuzzy. You know how you usually feel so much better after you cry? There’s a reason for that. Crying is a social signal that shows the inward and outward expression of intense emotion being released, as opposed to bottling it up inside, thus bringing about a mood boost. So if you want an energy boost, maybe give crying a try.

Crying is liberating, and although it’s not completely healthy to cry every day, help is all around and there are many people that care. So, maybe take a moment and listen to a playlist that gets you in your feelings, then cry a little. When I take time to do this after building up a few stressful thoughts from the past few weeks, it feels so good to release that tension. I know that overall it will help my well-being mentally and emotionally.