We all cry for different reasons. For some of us, it takes a tragedy to make us cry. For others, the Marks & Spencer's Christmas add is enough to set us off.
But one thing is for sure and its that crying is part of what makes us human. It is 100% natural and normal!
Although some animals do shed tears, humans are the only ones who cry for emotional reasons.
There are actually three different types of tears. First, there are the ones that sit in our eyes all the time for protection, called basal tears. Then, there are reflex tears that come in response to a physical irritation — think chopping an onion. Finally, there are the emotionally triggered tears.
Crying spells, crying over nothing at all, or crying about small things that normally wouldn't bother you could be a sign that you are tired, stressed, pre-menstrual or depressed. But judging yourself for them and beating yourself up will not make them go away!
Remember what I said about crying being a part of what makes us human?
In my office, just beside my client's chair, is a box of tissues that I replace regularly. During my private work with clients I see a lot of tears and for every 2 women that cry, one woman apologises for her tears because she feels they are either a sign of weakness or wrong.
I wish we would stop fighting our tears and embrace the experience, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it is.
Nevertheless, I still apologise for crying sometimes too. Especially with emotions that are more difficult and that I judge as 'wrong'.
But here's what I've learned...
There is absolutely no wrong way to feel. Our emotions are not broken things that need fixing.
Just as you would never apologise for smiling or laughing, I truly believe that we should never apologise for our pain or fear which can at times be expressed through tears. It's valid, it's real and it's ok to feel it and express it.
Move towards your pain, instead of brushing it under the rug and you will benefit in the long term.
I know that crying spells can, at times, feel a little embarrassing or happen at the worst times but from now on just let it happen. Stop fighting it. Stop apologising for it. What you resist, persists.
I think for a lot of us when we reach a certain age or point in our life we struggle to try to make our own self-care a priority. Whether its partners, kids or a demanding job there are only so many hours in the day.
Have you ever got back from work, made the dinner, put the kids to bed, cleaned the house and felt absolutely exhausted? When you are done looking after everyone and everything else sometimes it can feel like we don't have much left for ourselves. But it doesn't have to be this way. You can honour your own self-care whilst still being a bad a*s mother, partner and workin' woman!
Make sure you are getting enough sleep, use a period app to track your PMS symptoms (I use EVE) and for me, mindfulness is the best tool to manage my stress. If you feel that your crying is something more than this, talk to someone and ask for help. You are important!
There are always a few tears at my Empowered Women Workshop. Mostly because its the first time, in a long time, that some of the women who attend have put themselves front and centre in their own life.
It's time to make time for yourself, don't wait for your tears to build up so much that it's more than just stress or tiredness.
It's time to put yourself front and centre in your own life.
Crying is part of what makes us human. It is 100% natural and normal!
Sarah Doyle is a life coach, a speaker, the creator or L-School and The Empowered Women Workshops, the founder of The Better Life Project and author of Be Your Own Best Friend. Sarah works with women all over the world to help them achieve their personal and professional goals, whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem.