April Showers Bring May Flowers

3 minutes Written by Nikki Scott

I wrote this blog post in the spring of 2022 while I was a grief counselor at a hospice agency. I hope you find it helpful or supportive!

Many of us have heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” But what happens when you feel like the showers come in the form of your tears, frequently crying over the loss of someone or something you love dearly? There are some expressions that many of us have been told about crying and showing our emotions, stemming from early ages: “Put your big boy/girl pants on, big boys/girls don’t cry, suck it up, etc.” All of these expressions inherently share the same belief, that we should repress our feelings, put on a happy face, and not show our emotions.

Contrary to what most of us have been conditioned to believe, crying and allowing your emotions to come out is actually very healthy and therapeutic. We are human beings with a wide range of emotions, from infancy to old age, and crying is a natural and healthy response to these emotions… especially grief and sadness.

According to Harvard University, studies have linked repressive coping (not letting your tears flow) with a less resilient immune system, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, as well as with mental health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Expressive coping, such as crying, has been shown to increase attachment behavior, encouraging closeness, empathy, and support from friends and family. Research has shown a few other benefits to crying and expressing our emotions:

  • Crying has a soothing effect: it helps us to regulate our emotions, calm us down, and reduce distress.
  • Crying helps elicit support from others: crying is an attachment behavior and helps to rally support from others around us.
  • Crying helps to relieve pain: shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These chemicals make us feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.
  • Crying enhances our moods: as well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel-good” chemicals.
  • Crying releases toxins and relieves stress: can reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress.

So, no matter what you have been taught to believe about crying, let those teary April showers come, because they will undoubtedly bring some beautiful May flowers. 

All my love,
Nikki

 

Avatar Nikki Scott

Written by Nikki Scott

Nikki Scott is a therapist in Michigan who specializes in individual therapy.