A Good Cry

Photo from Pinterest.com

We all can recognize that familiar swelling feeling in the back of your throat. Your eyes get heavier, your chest tightens up a bit and you know you are ready to let out a good cry. But what about … an actual good cry? The physicality of bittersweetness — VALLEY is here to honor those happy tears.

No crying has to be bad. People tend to have harmful reflexes of repressing emotion when intense feelings arise. That lump in your throat starts to form and you automatically swallow it and save it for later. First things first, never do that. Crying is a healthy and necessary release of emotions. Scientifically speaking, tears release oxytocin and endogenous opioids, AKA endorphins. These are feel-good chemicals that help to ease any sort of pain. Crying is a self-soothing behavior that is set off by the natural chemical messaging in your system that there is distress that needs to be relieved.

But tears do not have to come from distress. As a society, the word “emotion” has a negative connotation to it. Dealing with emotions feels daunting and vulnerable, hence the tears. But positive emotions exist in this realm as well. Tears of joy come from these positive moments, and they are equally important to let out.

Oxytocin is mixed in with happy tears just as much as when the tears are representative of more negative emotions. This hormone, known as the love hormone, has the power to regulate our emotional responses and prosocial behaviors—meaning things like trust, empathy, positive memories, bonding cues, and more. Our happy tears are physical little droplets of love.

Photo from Pinterest.com

These tears can be caused by anything, physical touch, emotional communication, a smell, anything that makes us happy and sparks good emotion. This can also be a vulnerable state for someone to find themself in. It is nostalgic to feel yourself being so happy that it triggers a physical reaction, but it is also a blessing.

Emotions can be scary, as everyone knows. Emotions can be so powerful that our body physically creates something, which is the beauty of being human. Be sappy, cry it out, let the tears flow. Whether they are riddled with sadness or happiness, crying is productive and natural for your system. Just like it is bad to repress negative feelings, it is equally unproductive to hold in the positive ones as well. So, don’t worry about looking sappy- these are tears of joy!

Have you ever had a happy cry? Tag @VALLEYmag on X and let us know about your experience!


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