Many things move me to tears… if I’m touched, inspired, angry, sad, happy, hear certain music… (or it could be a sappy commercial with a lost puppy if you catch me at the right time) but there’s another type of crying I do which functions as an emotional and spiritual cleansing. I don’t have to cry about any specific thing and it’s not always an “oh, life is so hard, poor me” boo-hoo, it’s simply giving in to the urge to cry. Something in me hurts so I cry. There could possibly be a scientific or medical reason as to why crying makes my body and soul feel better but I don’t know what it is.

There’s an emotional and spiritual cleansing that occurs when you cry from the soul. That’s the healing power of tears.

Headaches + Tears

I’ve suffered with migraines and other headaches since I was a teen. After decades of enduring them, I know my headaches. Migraines are usually the result of dehydration, sinus pressure, a food trigger or hormonal fluctuations. In my opinion, anyone who doesn’t think hormones affect them physically (aside from influencing moods and behavior) is just plain wrong. I say that because I dated a guy who thought PMS was an excuse fabricated by women to be evil. Nope. It’s a real thing, buddy.

The worst of the headaches linger – sometimes up to a week at their worst. They’re the kind that are with me upon waking – and the most difficult to manage. I try to wake up slowly and quietly, so as not to disturb it. If I’m successful, it will only throb a little. And I think maybe I’ll be able to walk gingerly to the kitchen to put something in my stomach so I can take pain reliever. Until I stand up. That’s when it slaps me upside the head. Excedrin? Bah! Clearly, it is no match. Heating pads provide little relief. I’ve even held frozen peas on my eyes, which, incidentally, only produces cold eyes.

Before I discovered prescription meds like sumatriptan and the cooling menthol of Salonpas, I would tough it out before being forced to lie down in the dark. One day, in the midst of a particularly bad migraine, I had so much pain that I just wanted to cry. So I did. Just letting the tears slip down my cheeks and cool on my chin made feel better. It was like the pain was not just in my head. It was in my spirit and something else…lifted. I haven’t looked into what physically happens when we cry – like, whether blood vessels in the brain expand or contract (migraines are the result of constricted blood vessels of the brain) but it makes sense that it’s all connected. Sometimes I notice that the greater the stress I’m under, the worse the headache and the better the relief I have once I cry.

Why You Should Cry

I know men aren’t supposed to cry and as women we’re supposed to “handle our stuff” and “keep it together.” Be strong! Keep it all bottled up until you develop serious mental health issues, addictions or become abusive. Unfortunately, that’s what seems to happen. I think of tears as a gift from God to put us back in balance but only if we choose to use them. There has to be a connection between crying and physical/emotional health. All I know is… the more emotional residue or spiritual wounds you have, the more frequently you need to cry.

The next time you feel anxious, stressed or recognize the need to cry, let it go. Find somewhere private and have a good cry. Express your emotions and release the pain.