The Benefits and Challenges of Crying

When mental pressure mounts and chance of losing control over our emotions is imminent, crying is the release valve that helps us relieve this stress. Feeling sad, overwhelmed, and worried leads to potential social, academic, and job dysfunction. If on top of this we are exposed to high pressure situations or reminded of painful past experiences, we can easily be pushed over the edge and cry in order to immediately release the mental tension. Crying can be a healthy way of alleviating this mental pressure and regaining a sense of control over our emotions and life.

Caring for a loved one who is crying can be a complicated and trying task. Hearing a loved one cry can elicit very strong negative emotions. We might be reminded of a time that we felt that pain and no one was able to comfort us. Maybe the people we depended on failed to pay attention or show empathy to us when we cried. This could make us feel anger or resentment at the failure of that caretaker. We might also feel crushed by how powerless we now are to alleviate our loved one’s pain and feel guilt. In the worst of cases, these feelings of past resentment and guilt can be projected on to the crying person. In the best of cases, care takers do not react with frustration. The best path for caretakers is to recognize that while they cannot erase the pain of their loved one, they can provide much needed basic comfort and support.

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