Go Ahead and Cry


I was on my annual yoga retreat in Mexico last week and at our very last practice, during shavasana (the final relaxation pose when you let go of EVERYTHING and experience the benefits of your work), my teacher played a song that touched me. My eyes began to well up and tears rolled down my cheeks. Not a full-on bawl, more like a release of happy, open-hearted, grateful tears. Grateful that I was able to attend the retreat, that my body was capable of doing hours a day of yoga, and that I met so many wonderful people.
Though crying is typically associated with sadness or pain—our own or someone else’s—sometimes it’s the result of opening up our hearts and releasing joy. The truth is, crying for any reason is a good thing—it relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, expels toxins from the body, and so much more.

Researchers have found that crying intensifies life’s happiest moments. Our tears release neurotransmitters known as leucine enkephalin, which can act as a natural painkiller. When people cry because they’re sad, this makes them feel better. But when people cry because they’re happy, that same neurotransmitter makes them feel that much happier.

Technique of the week: Simply allow yourself to cry the next time something or someone affects you deeply—remember, crying is good for you! My goal is always to share and spread inspiration to as many people as possible. What I wish for you today is to discover what opens up your heart and brings on the happy tears!

Melissa Garson