A Good Cry

I went to a movie recently and it made me cry. The crying caught me off guard. It wasn’t a big “boohoo,” ugly-face cry, although it might have been if I’d been alone, in my living room.

It had been a long time since I’d cried, and it felt good.

Later, after I had time to digest the film, my focus centered on my crying and the unfamiliar feel of it. How long had it been since I’d cried? “I should do this more often,” I thought. But, let’s face it, you can’t just schedule a good cry … or can you?

Years ago, in my early twenties, I remember sitting on the couch Sunday evenings, 7 pm to be exact, the box of Kleenex right by my side, waiting for Lassie. You remember, Lassie, don’t you? She always saved the day or saved Timmy (or someone else), and she’d do it in a heartfelt way. I’d bawl on cue for the last ten minutes of the program every week. It felt delicious. It was cathartic.

It’s different now that I’m older.

As a kid I was a pro at crying and did it often – either sincerely or for high drama. But that was then. I don’t remember when the crying started to slack off, but it did, and I sort of miss it. I used to be secure crying in front of others but now not so much. Crying feels more private.

But crying is nothing to hide. In fact, it’s good for us, especially for us senior citizens.

The Benefits of Crying

Not only does crying release pent-up emotions, but, per the medical community, it reduces stress and lowers your blood pressure. Also, did you know crying eliminates the toxins that build up in your body when you’re stressed? That’s amazing!

In addition, the simple act of crying reduces the body’s manganese level, a mineral that affects mood and is found in up to thirty times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum.

As I experienced today, yet another benefit – although not one validated by medical research – is that crying can feel good, especially when it’s at the movies and not because of a real-life trauma.

Finally, crying proves we’re human, as humans are the only mammals that shed tears based on an emotional response.

You’re human, so go ahead and have yourself a good cry. If you need a little nudge, here’s the link to a wonderful dog commercial that will probably get the water works flowing: