Crying & releasing is something that all humans don’t do enough of. This is more of a man problem, but I don’t think many girls are crying enough either.
Up to the age of 12, men & women cry at about the same frequency & intensity. By the age of 18, women cry almost 5x more than men!
This is one of many reasons female suicide rates are less, they live longer, and they’re generally more emotionally in control. This could also be why women commit less violent crimes; perhaps men are storing it all in, then it all comes rushing out.
The #1 reason people don’t cry is they feel they’re weak. For whatever reason, people don’t feel safe to cry!
My goal with writing this to you is to encourage you to cry more often, and feel safer doing so.
I Used To Never Cry
To start I’d like to share a personal story. Without even realizing it, I stopped crying almost completely by 19. I became completely emotionally constipated.
As a kid, I can remember desperately trying not to cry but I couldn’t control it. It makes me sad now to have done such a thing. Eventually, I succeeded in numbing myself completely.
The reason for this is due to severe middle school bullying, as well as society pressures to “be a strong man.”
At age 18 & 19, I started getting some severe chronic pains. They were beginning to debilitate my life. As it turns out, holding your emotions in is terrible for your health!
Thankfully, with the support of my amazing girlfriend, I began fixing this problem and crying in December of 2017.
I’m still working on safe emotional expression, but I’m doing a lot better. I’m also noticing that my chronic pains are going away fast as I express more & more.
Just recently I received some terrible news which is what prompted me to write this. Even though the news made me sad, I’m proud of myself for having cried instantly even though I was in a coffee shop standing in front of the barista.
Because I instantly released the emotion, I felt better & could think more action-based. Instantly of increasing my physical pains & numbness by holding it in, I let it out.
Emotional Energy Gets “Trapped” If You Suppress It
Crying is the human’s natural way of releasing energy. It helps you relax, calm down, and feel less angry as well.
By not crying, you aren’t “strong” or even avoiding the negative emotions. Instead you’re burying them into your subconscious, and they will find a way to express themselves later.
As crazy as this sounds, this has been my true experience. My chronic pains & emotional numbness got so bad at the age of 19, but by doing “releasing” work I’ve been able to cry out past energy & memories which I had completely forgotten!
If you make a practice of suppressing your tears, they will eventually becomes repressed. This is the point at which you don’t even realize you’re sad because your subconscious mind blocks the emotion completely out of your mind.
This is when things get dangerous. Your nervous system or immune system at this point will begin to malfunction. You’ll get a chronic pain, or start getting sick, or something will happen.
If you get into a car accident or blunt-force trauma, you may find yourself not healing for some reason.
Recent studies have also proven that herniated discs & arthritis don’t actually cause pain usually. This is a story for another day, but you can do the research yourself: the fact is that the findings of herniated discs & arthritis in chronic pain patients is coincidental, and these abnormalities don’t actually cause pain.
For more information on how this works, I recommend looking into the work of “Dr. John Sarno” and “Dr. Steve Ozanich.” Their books have changed my life and helped me heal so much.
The science-based explanation that not crying hurts you is that it causes malfunctions in your immune & nervous system. Words like “energy, flow, and releasing” are simply used as they are easier to understand for the masses.
Crying Is a BRAVE Thing To do
Many people unconsciously (or consciously) believe that crying is weak; they will do everything they can to stop from crying!
They will drink, smoke, over-eat, under-sleep, over-sleep, develop chronic pain, feel anxious, feel depressed, or develop any type of avoidance behavior, generally unconsciously.
People focus too often on say the problem of addiction without addressing the underlying causes for people becoming addicts. Developing addictions, pain, or anxiety are all avoidance behaviors designed to distract the mind from the real problems at hand.
I will add that there are cases of depression, anxiety, pain, and addiction that aren’t directly related to emotional trauma & the need to cry. In my experience, I’ve observed the most amount of people, myself included, developing these unhelpful behaviors because they have some emotional trauma they are consciously or unconsciously avoiding.
It’s very unfortunate that we exist in a society that doesn’t feel safe to cry.
In the act of trying to appear strong, we are all weak. We as a society are hurting ourselves by developing these avoidance-based behaviors. How much better would the world be if we could all safely cry & hug each other?
Crying is the act of feeling that which is unpleasant, and letting go of it. THAT is courage because you are feeling the truth, instead of numbing yourself or aiming for instantaneous pleasure.
It also makes you feel much better after. Despite having received terrible news, I feel much more calm & level-headed.
Crying Helps You In Life
When you release the pent up energy, your energy improves, your mood improves, and so does your cognitive ability.
While the acts of violent criminals are not justified at all, I believe that their crimes could’ve been avoided if they cried & released. Instead they pent it all up until one day it erupted into explosive, violent, deadly anger.
Not crying forces the “energy” if you will into your body. When you repress, you literally “push it down” on your brain. Instead of being processed & released, it gets transferred into the nervous & immune system.
Don’t get hung up on words like “energy” and phrases such as “in the body.” This is all scientifically proven, but too hard to explain scientifically. Check out Dr. John Sarno & Dr. Steve Ozanich (and affiliates) if you’re skeptical.
When you cry, this energy goes away. It’s gone! Your health will improve, you will relax more, and also very importantly you will think rationally.
In my recent case, after crying so many tears for almost an hour, and then talking with some friends (thanks bros!!!), I felt calm & happy again.
Considering how bad the news was, I was surprised at how quickly I bounced back. This is the power of crying my friends. My inner peace is restored, so now I can think logically to handle the situation.
Don’t suppress while trying to think logically. Emotionally process, then handle the situation.
It is okay, safe, and beneficial to cry.
To my fellow dudes, you probably don’t cry that often. If you are lucky enough to cry often, you’re still probably not crying enough or at the intensity you should be.
It’s a shame what society and “manliness” has done to us. Us men are too scared to cry, so we turn into criminals, hurt ourselves, and die earlier than women.
It is not feminine to cry, although it may seem so. Many of my male friends are obsessed with being the “anchor in a woman’s life.” I used to be like this too!
What I’m discovering is that the stereotype of women being emotional & men being logical is not near as extreme as we previously though it to be. Men & women have their differences, but we still must cry at the same frequency as one another.
It’s okay to cry. You don’t always have to be the “strong man,” and if you don’t have an amazing woman to support you, then she doesn’t deserve you.
Finding bros to cry with is a bit hard, and something I’m not an expert at. I still don’t feel comfortable or safe crying in front of friends, but I hope to find people to cry with soon.
As men we must deal with our emotions like women. We must cry. We must release. We need to support each other too, as weird as it sounds.
If you’re a woman reading this, know that it is safe to cry too and I’m not acting as if women have it easy. This section isn’t meant to be anti-women, I just wanted to address my male readers that most likely cry less than women. If you’re a woman, I care for you too & want you to cry to release more also!!!
The Function Of Repression
The temporary act of not crying, or repressing the need to cry, was created to be helpful, but it’s gone out-of-control.
If you’re in a war and some family gets killed, but you still need to escape, it is a beneficial mechanism to temporarily repress so you can fight or run.
The problem is that most of us are literally safe to cry now, but we still don’t feel safe. If you don’t feel safe to cry, then you won’t, and the cycle of repression will continue.
This is horrible for your health, mood, and energy. It is imperative to stop the repression train & release. Feeling safe really helps.
Everyone Has “A Story”
I don’t think people cry enough, and that problems of the past get “trapped” inside of the body due to childhood repression.
As kids we fear that if we cry, our parents may abandon us. You may have been bullied like me, and feared crying in school.
If you cried at school, this would just make the beatings & suffering worse, so you learned to not cry. This helps short-term, but the energy must be released eventually.
If it doesn’t get released eventually, you get health problems and/or mood problems. It does not fade away into the past unless you release it the way we humans were designed to release trauma: through crying.
Here’s a little secret for you: everyone has a story. The more I tell my story of emotional, physical, and yes even sexual abuse, the more people start talking back.
I used to be so afraid to tell my story thinking people would think I was broken. The truth is that people tell me their story, and it always ends up being sad too!
I’m not saying we all need to stay depressed & let our past traumas define us. My life has been quite enjoyable recently. You simply need to open up about the darkness inside of you. Only through acceptance & releasing can you let go of the darkness to feel the light.
Everyone has a story. Every. Single. Person. I’ve yet to meet a person that hasn’t experienced emotional trauma in some form. Yes, some people have had it horribly worse, but everyone has gone through something.
We people need to start taking care of one another. Give a hug, cry, tell your story. Others might start doing the same…
How To Cry More
Now for what you came for. This is a hard, long process, and it takes a lot of practice. I promise it will be worth it.
First, you should never get down on yourself for not being able to cry enough or as frequently. You must accept & love yourself as you are, while also working to improve your situation.
There will be times where you know you need to cry, but you can’t for whatever reason. Maybe you’ll feel scared, or even conditioning will prevent you from releasing.
When something comes up that should make you cry, try “lean into” the emotion. Feel it completely, accept it, and let it run through you.
This doesn’t mean you need to act on it, if there is anger for example. A lot of violent criminals hold in their sadness until it comes out through anger so intense they lose control!
While leaning into the emotion, stay in the present moment as best as you can. Let thoughts & images pop up, but stay aware of you & your surroundings.
How heavy are you sitting/laying on the ground? What noises do you hear? What you see? What does your feet feel like? Your toes? Your back? Your thumb?
Being “aware of the body” by feeling it helps you be more emotionally in-tune. Be aware of the body while also feeling your emotions completely, and staying in the present moment without getting too attached to what’s arising. Let it go!
You may feel uncomfortable, or a sudden compulsion (ie. smoke a cigarette!!!). Let those pass as well, as hard as it may be.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed, be consciously aware of how you’re unconsciously avoiding your emotions. If you suddenly find yourself pouring down liquor, take a moment to be conscious of what you’re doing, even if you can’t stop yourself.
Finding a safe place is also key. Turning on sad songs and remembering other moments you have cried can help a lot too.
For example, I once felt myself emotionally unable to cry, even though I could feel the energy inside of me needed to be released. I decided to think on some other sad subjects that had made me cried before.
This extra push made me start crying, and after a couple tears I re-focused onto what recently upset me. I then was able to cry about what recently upset me until it was almost completely released.
While crying, you may find that thoughts arise like “don’t be weak,” or “be strong.” It’s important to be aware of these thoughts, let them go, and then comfort yourself.
You have to act as though you’re your own parent. Tell you Inner Child that everything is okay, that you’re safe, and that it’s okay (and beneficial!) to cry. Re-parent & re-condition yourself to feel comfortable knowing that crying is good for you.
Having someone you feel safe to cry with can help too. I give huge credits to my girlfriend to helping me cry. I still don’t feel comfortable crying in front of male friends, just my girlfriend & alone by myself.
Communicating authentically with others is the stepping stone to feeling safe crying. Let them know that you want to cry, and you want support in it. If they can’t support that, are they really worthwhile friends? Make sure this person is someone you truly care for, and can do the same for.
With your “cry friend” you can also practice crying together by watching sad movies, listening to sad songs, and crying together. Bonus points for making a group that all feels safe with crying with one another.
One thing that really helped me cry more is creating my own “releasing ceremony.” One day I hope to do this for groups of people because of the profound positive effect it had on me.
Wake up before sunrise, or do this before sunset. Go to a park or somewhere in nature where you feel safe alone. If you only feel safe in your room, you can do this here too. For me I enjoy getting out in nature.
Purchase some “incense.” This is a stick that you burn. It burns slowly, releasing a pleasant smell.
The following is what I did:
I went to a park before sunrise. I brought my incense, a lighter, a notebook, and some paper.
Before the sunrise I wrote on paper all of the things which made me sad; these were horribly emotionally traumatic events that still bothered me. You can include small things too- anything you think that’ll help you release, write it down.
On sunrise, I pulled out a stick of incense. I visualized all of the memories & problems onto the incense. That is, I imagined that the words all became the dark incense.
I was going to burn the paper, but decided just to throw it in the trash can instead. It may be more symbolic to you to burn the paper, but make sure you don’t start a fire or break any park rules!
The visualization is the most important part. The part of your brain that handles trauma is right next to the spatial section of the brain. Traumatized individuals often can express creatively, but “freeze up” when it comes to talking logically about it.
When you visualize the words onto the incense, you will notice that it begins to feel heavier. When you look at the incense, you think & feel everything you wrote on the paper! The incense will now take on the life of everything you wrote down!
I then set the incense down, and took out my lighter. I told myself that this lighter was the beauty of the present moment, and that the present moment was going to burn away the darkness of the past.
I lit the incense on fire, and enjoyed the pleasant smell. This is powerful. Watch the incense burning, and visualize all of the dark memories & events burning away, as if they never happened.
I cried a bit here, and you may as well. If you can leave it burning safely, then walk away while it burns about halfway through, or let it burn then symbolically walk away from the ashes.
While walking away, make sure to look back at the burning incense & tell yourself that you are walking away from all of the dark memories. Pick a direction, and symbolically visualize this direction as the peace & beauty of the future.
As I walked away, this is when I cried the most. I found it insanely hard to step away from the burning incense & ashes. Each step made me cry more, as I released more & more.
Remember, your spatial/creative section of your brain is what best processes the emotional events. This act allows you to outwardly express your inner reality, and your emotional trauma will begin processing itself as you metaphorically walk away from the incense (which contains all of the past emotional trauma).
As I walked away, I kept looking back. I noticed when I looked back, I felt more tense, but when I looked towards the “future direction” I felt more at peace, then cried more. Walking away was hard.
Make sure to visualize yourself as releasing the past. Leave the past in the burning incense & ashes. Let it bury & become a thing of the past as you walk into the beautiful future!
I cried for so long after doing this exercise. I became lighter, happier, and much more energized.
If you try this, I commend you. It takes a great deal of courage to release because through releasing you must confront the darkness within.
Please, Learn to Cry
You may need more help & assistance following this article. I encourage you to seek help through releasing ceremonies done by others, therapists, and other articles that guide you on how to cry.
If there’s one thing I could say, it’s please, learn to cry. If you can, cry harder, cry longer, cry more often.
Learning to cry continues to improve my life by allowing “dark energy” to be released. I’m certain it will do the same for you.
I wish you the best with learning to cry. Please, learn how to cry. It will change your life.