I never thought that my first post on Medium would be about something as private and unglamorous as crying but I felt like I should share the things I have realized about the ‘act’ and how it can help you.
Crying is something that everybody has done at some point in their lives (some more than others) and will continue to do so as long as we live. It is always associated with grief and pain and that gives the impression that crying is a negative thing. When you see someone crying, what is the first thing you say to them? ‘Don’t cry’. Very rarely have I met someone who has told you to cry your heart out, has given you the permission to give in to the physical manifestation of your grief and pain. Now, I am not saying that you let yourself or someone you know go to pieces at the slightest provocation and bawl your eyes out to the discomfort of others and be a burden, but sometimes the best way to comfort someone or even you is to cry it out, without forcing to put on a smile, without having to check those feelings because drying your eyes fast and facing the world is the thing to do.
Most situations (in public or even at home) are not conducive to letting go but having a bout of good crying can ease your pain, release the pent up frustrations, release the stress and tension that you accumulate daily and can definitely make you feel a lot better about your life and your current situation. It can also result in a good night’s sleep if your issues have been troubling you from getting a good shut eye. I have personally experienced that when you wake up in the morning you feel more able to cope with your life, the day, the painful situation and the like.
So these are the things I do for my crying bouts and which you can do for yourselves too without ending up feeling more miserable than when you hadn’t. The operative word here is ‘bout’. These crying sessions may help you settle your feelings and emotions from time to time but if you are going through chronic depression or any chronic form of mental anxiety/ suffering then please get help (professional help if possible) and do not blindly attempt these, if they might injure you further.
- I am a firm believer that crying is an intensely private activity, so if you are like me then indulge it in the privacy of your room. I prefer to do it at night when I am alone and I am reasonably certain I will not be disturbed. I can only let myself go when I know that there will be no one to witness. If you are not like me, then have someone you trust but who is also non judgemental to be near you at such times. Shut your door but don’t lock it because that might worry your near and dear ones or alternatively make you feel lonely, and that is not something you want.
- Have a clock or a watch near you so you can gauge the time. You don’t want to be up all night crying and defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. I have seen that I typically cry for about an hour (sometimes more) but after that the intense urge subsides and gradually I have no more tears to shed. With practice you may be able to have a regulated session which helps you out regularly.
- Have a big bottle of water at hand. When you cry you become dehydrated and if you don’t replenish yourself then you are going to end up with a headache, sore eyes, sore throat and general ill feeling. I always drink at least a glass of water after I am done crying and it helps make me feel better.
- Have a soft handkerchief or piece of cloth with you. You will have to wipe your eyes periodically because there is no point in ruining your clothes. Ruined clothes will make you feel guilty you you cried.
- Crying involves snot, lots of it. So have access to your bathroom and relieve your nose periodically. The act of getting up from your bed or couch and going to the bathroom and washing your face is going to help you gradually subside the urge of crying and help you feel better.
- Have a pillow or soft toy that you might want to hug when you cry. It might be helpful. Your pillow is not going to judge you.
- Pray when you cry or at the end of it. Pray to the Divine Presence that you believe in or to your own self. Pray that you may have the strength to face your troubles, to let go or to accept, to be able to be content.
- When you naturally feel the urge to cry subside, wash your face, drink water, fluff your pillow and go to sleep. Gently think about something good or take slow deep breaths to calm yourself and hopefully you will be asleep in a short while. When you wake up you should be feeling much better.
However, I feel like I must add a word of caution. If after doing the above you don’t feel better or relieved but instead feel miserable than before then don’t try it anymore. There is no guarantee that it will work for you but since it helps me to cope with the daily grind I can only ask that you try for yourselves.
I hope everyone finds contentment.