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A strong soul shines after every storm.
The phrase “emotionally strong” conjures images of stoic, quiet types who barely shed a tear in the face of bereavement. Some movies and books portray the strong ones as “masculine” types, thus funnelling the notion that one has to be devoid of emotions associated with femininity. However, isn’t crying as natural as laughing?
There are people who suppress and there are those who express their emotional turmoil through flow of tears. On face value, the tearless seems to be the winner in emotional strength, yet science sees it the other way around. According to studies, crying makes 9 out of 10 people feel better, reduces stress, and may help strengthen the immune system. Call it “unmanly” but crying turns out to be highly effective at healing and improving the mood of 88.8% of weepers. Apparently, tears are not just for the eyes but also for the soul!
Our society attaches a stigma to crying, making it seem shameful and even inappropriate in some cases. But suppressing your tears is akin to depriving yourself of getting that body back in balance after a stressful event. William Frey, professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota explains that “because unalleviated stress can increase our risk for heart attack and damage certain areas in our brain, the human ability to cry has survival value.”
Facing our emotions make it easier for us to process them, until we finally have the strength to let go. Science has pointed out that it’s part of healing and thus should be accepted, regardless of age or gender.