Faith and Life: It's OK to cry it out

Why are we taught not to cry? Especially boys and men?

Society often gives us the message that crying is weak, wrong, or uncomfortable for others. The truth is, crying is extremely wise. And adults need to cry to heal from grief, anger and many other stressors.

Crying restores us to a base line of emotional, physical and psychological health, especially when one is under stress, in pain, or grieving.

Often in crisis or pain, we think we have no time to cry so we just hold it in. But even allowing yourself to cry for two minutes when you find yourself in a place to do so has tremendous healing power physiologically. And crying is especially beneficial for anger.

There are only three ways to release adrenaline: sweating, urinating and tears. That’s it.

Crying is an amazing stress reducer and healing agent. There is a neurological connection between the tear duct and the human brain. Failure to cry can be dangerous for your health. Repressing emotions can cause medical diseases, mental illness and psychological pain.

Crying has many mental health benefits: it is a very effective way to reduce stress. Dr. Frey at the University of Minnesota says crying “gets rid of the stress hormones, particularly adrenocorticotropic hormone, which makes us feel good and better.”

Science has concluded that certain chemicals and hormones build up when we are under stress, trauma, or angry. Crying releases these toxins and endorphins (our happy chemical). So while science has proven that crying clearly releases stress hormones that just make us feel better, there is a spiritual component as well.

Jesus cried. John 11:35 tells us succinctly and clearly, “Jesus wept.” He who experienced all human emotions -- and had good reason to cry given the circumstances he was in -- cried. 

He who loved mankind above all else, sobbed. And it served a purpose for Him.

So go ahead, you’re not being a baby, your being smart. Let it out. Heal. Cry -- like an adult.

The REV. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist and owner of Kimberlie Zakarian Therapy and a nonprofit organization, Thrive Therapy Center in Montrose. She can be reached at

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