For as long as I can remember, I have always been a crier. It doesn't matter if I'm at work, in my car, while on my sofa, or in the shower, I'll cry for whatever reason presents itself.
One time, I cried at the thought of my 8-month-old puppy growing up. Another time, I cried because my uni maths professor unfairly gave my partner a higher grade than me. And most recently, I cried when King Viserys from "House of the Dragon" unnecessarily stabbed a stag in the heart to signal the beginning of "the hunt." (Still don't understand why this was necessary, but I digress…)
Now I'm not going to say I'm "too sensitive" because sensitivity is a superpower and I am still reeling from the time an ex-boyfriend told me it wasn't. But let's just say it's normal for me to feel a lot — and feel deeply, at that. My secret to managing the influx of emotions? I've started adding a weekly cry session to my schedule, and honestly, it's a game changer. Here's how I do it: once a week, I'll find time in my schedule to hold two to three hours of space for me to do nothing but cry. Sometimes I'll turn on a sad movie to get the tears flowing (my go-to is "About Time") — other times, I won't need anything to prompt my crying session.
"In a physical sense, it feels like I'm quite literally emptying my body of any and all tears and sadness. Mentally, it feels like I'm working through issues of insecurity, doubt, and hardships in a really healthy way."
But in this allotted time, I try to get rid of any pent-up feelings or emotions I've been keeping inside. I'll start crying about one thing, which will make me cry about something else, which will then make me cry about something else.
In a physical sense, it feels like I'm quite literally emptying my body of any and all tears and sadness. Mentally, it feels like I'm working through issues of insecurity, doubt, and hardships in a really healthy way.
Plus, there's some science to my method. There are lots of benefits of crying. Holistic psychotherapist Brandelyn Hankins, LPC, tells POPSUGAR that, "emotions, stress and traumas are all stored in our bodies, so doing things such as crying releases these pent up emotions and stress."
But for me, these crying sessions do more than just that. They allow me to have more control over how and when I'm crying. Before instituting my weekly cry sessions, I would find tears rolling down my face during the most unexpected times (like when the McDonald's worker seemed visibly annoyed when I ask for extra sauce). Whenever I'm stressed or anxious, I find myself crying more easily than I otherwise would if I were in a better mental state.
Licenced professional counsellor Kasryn Kapp explains it like this: "After a stressful situation is over, we often carry built-up tension or energy. This tension can be released in many ways including a good cry. But when we don't release this tension, it eventually comes out in other ways including tearfulness at unexpected moments."
Of course, I'm not saying crying is something that has to be "controlled" because, please, if you feel the need to cry, just cry. This also doesn't mean I never cry outside of these sessions because, of course I do — I'm human! But in order to feel more checked in with my emotions, I release whatever unresolved tension I'm experiencing during my weekly cry session. And I feel better every time.
That being said, it's possible that regular cry sessions won't have the same positive effect on you — and that's OK. Kapp tells POPSUGAR that "the key is to get in tune with the body's signals of built up tension and learn what brings relief." For me, it's crying. For you, it could be yoga, meditation, dancing, cooking, working out, or something else. Just make sure to regularly prioritise something that helps you find release at whatever cadence works for you.
If you're an A-Grade Hallmark crier like me, then cry sessions might be just what you need. Who knows, you may find that it's your new favourite Wednesday night activity.