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HSP Tips for the Holidays and the Benefits of the 2 Kinds of Crying

Hello everyone!  I hope you are doing well and taking good care of yourselves.  Today as I am writing this the first big snowflakes of the season are falling here in the midwestern United States.  Yes, it is that time of year again.  How did it go so fast yet again?!  It is good to constantly remind ourselves that, as highly sensitive souls, we must strive for balance in our lives by adding in some time alone to recharge and for some creative self-expression as we set out to accomplish the many tasks that accompany this busy holiday season that is quickly approaching.  Express your creativity in ways you used to love to do as a child but haven’t found time for lately–the activities we loved as children (like singing, writing, art, or dancing) are often our true desires–taking just a little time daily for this artistic self-expression will give you new found energy, rejuvenation, and a satisfying sense of accomplishment.  Also, remind yourself to check your heart rate occasionally on busy days and breathe deeply and slowly to slow yourself down.  Cortisol, the stress hormone, is harmful to our bodies when it is called upon too frequently so we need to learn relaxation techniques to take care of our adrenals.  Laying down for 20 minutes with eyes closed (with just the intention of slowing your heart rate and following your breathing as you try to make it slower and slower) does wonders when you are feeling anxious and starting to spiral with negative thoughts.  Positive self-talk and affirmations are important as well such as: “There is plenty of time for all the things I want to do”, and “I love and approve of myself”, and “I give myself permission to be the best that I can be”.

These are good reminders that Christmas is about Love. Love is the opposite of fear and can heal it.  You can love yourself out of these fear-based anxieties that originated in a childhood that did not provide a safe place to be yourself. Also since you may have had to numb ourself out to survive as children, you may have learned not to pay attention to your bodies urges to tell you what it needs.  For example, “thirst” can be something that you learned not to feel and so your bodies are very dehydrated without your realizing it.  You”ll be amazed how much better you feel when you start making yourself drink more water on a daily basis.  I drink 32 ounces in the first 4 hours I am awake in the morning–the rest of the day always goes so much better when we start our day really hydrated.  Try it and see!  And make sure to drink at least 64 ounces a day and even more on days you have extra stress.  And if you are trying hard to “hold it together” in spite of the stressful feelings that the holidays can trigger, try a different approach–let it all out and have a good cry!  Crying is good for you and studies show that emotional tears have higher levels of toxins that are released than in regular tear production.

I want to talk more about the benefits of crying because society has such a stigma against it.  How often have you heard on a media outlet about a public figure or celebrity seen crying and then heard it referred to negatively as a “breakdown” which is ridiculous.  A break “through” is a better term.  The urge to cry is just truth that is coming up to be healed (comforted and released).  Think of it symbolically as light breaking through the clouds, and someone finally “seeing the light”.  I like to think about the song “I Can See Clearly Now” as if the writer of that song just had a good cry and a period of healing and now feels better and has healed a wound from childhood that was blocking him from functioning at his best.  He is now en”light”ened!  I also like to think of the description by a pilot right before breaking the speed of sound–he describes that, “the cockpit shakes the most right before” and then it is smooth sailing once he breaks through. If we resist our bad feelings and suppress them we may never know what aha moment or lesson we could learn–we must trust that our feelings are trying to teach us something.

More of my views on the benefits of crying are demonstrated in my reply to a highly sensitive and gifted commenter names Elisabeth who was concerned about how emotional she feels and how often she cried.  I hope it is helpful to all of you HSPs out there who can relate to how she felt.  Here is the interaction that transpired in the comment section of one of my pages on this blog:

Elisabeth

Submitted on 2012/06/02 at 2:04 pm

Hello Roxanne,
I can honestly tell you i feel God directed me to find this site! On behalf of every person who has benefited from your choice to help people, thank you so much! I honestly felt something was wrong with me all my life. I am highly sensitive, emotional, and very hard on myself. I was actually going thru one of my attempts to “figure out” what it is that makes me the person i am, I have never been able to pin point exactly what was, all i knew is that normal people do not feel such intense emotions , I am highly empathetic, and can practically feel what others feel, even before they feel it themselves. All my life i have thought of it as a curse, I am great with people, and feel like God gave me the gift of encouragement, yet the one person i could never figure out or help was the person staring back at me in the mirror. upon reading your “About Me” section, it was as though everything you discribed was everything i have been dealing with all my life! I dont know why, but I could never pinpoint exactly what caused me to be like this, only within the past couple of months i came to the realization that it had to do with my mother and not being shown love as a child. Ive stopped trying to get others to understand, because to them it is ridiculous, unless you have truly been hurt in that way, you would never understand the extent of the damage it can have on a persons soul, especially a shy little girl. All my life I feel like I have in a way punished myself for not being good enough, and literally crippled my own personal growth and prevented myself from becoming better because in a weird way i felt i didnt derserve it. What hurts most is reaching out (to my husband, my mom, sisters, brothers etc.) and trying to explain how I feel, and being rejected, ridiculed or as my husband would say “stop feeling sorry for yourself, and take control of yourself”. to me, being put down and rejected by ppl who are supposed to love me unconditionally, especially when it took so much out of me to come out and say it, its like taking a knive and slowly puting it thru my heart.
Also, I am a Christian, but upon trying to learn more about who i am, I turned to horoscopes, because it was the best thing I could find to accurately discribe who i am. Im not sure if you know about them, but i am a pisces girl with a cancer moon. (in case you dont know, that s a double whammy. Pisces and cancer are both the most emotional signs. =(((((((((((
In conclusion, I guess my question to you is how can I get past what I went thru as a child and grow from it? It has put a huge strain on my marriage, and even my husband has tried to understand me, but it just feels like my words are not getting thru to him.
Thank you again so much for your time! May God bless you generously for what you do and all the lives you have impacted!!

p.s. Is it normal for a person like me to not be able to talk about anything emotional without crying? Just within this past year I can not say how i really feel without bursting into tears, and then starts the process of telling myself that its stupid to cry over it etc etc.. :(

Much Love,
Elisabeth (from Sacramento, CA)


Roxanne

Submitted on 2012/06/05 at 2:42 pm | In reply to Elisabeth

Hi Elisabeth,

Thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful and wise comment. I agree with everything you say here. I wish I had time to respond in depth to everyone’s comments–I am so happy to know this blog is helping so many. Thank you ALL for all the wonderful comments!

I just want to mention a few things: why the sad((( face for being the most emotional signs–I don’t know anything about horoscopes but sounds like you are emotionally “gifted” :D !!!. Our families of origin (and our society too) instill in us this shame about our emotions–it is not true!! It is wonderful to be emotional–our emotions are meant to be our “compass” for finding happiness in our lives! You can learn how to have boundaries to keep out the negative emotions from others and tap into the positive emotions that are innate in you. Learning to love yourself is key and processing your pain from the past includes grieving about the love and acceptance you never got for having this emotional gift. Crying is necessary to tell your truth about how you have been treated.

It is normal to cry if you feel the need–sounds like you have a good reason to cry. It spills out at inopportune times because we are holding it in so often. Having a good cry from time to time is so healthy and recharging! Also, often survivors like us cry when we are misunderstood and don’t feel “heard” when we are actually “angry”–but we were punished for expressing our true assertive positive selves when we were tiny children and so we learned to repress it–they were threatened by our positivity and truthfulness! So it is kind of a post traumatic stress response. It is not stupid in any way to cry–crying is positive and healing when it is grieving about how you were mistreated in the past. Crying releases a truth that needs to be told!

There are 2 kinds of crying (…or more):

1)“Grieving” is the healthy releasing of the truth of your injustices and it is cleansing to release your truth–try to catch what you are learning as you cry and write it in a “journal for your eyes only.” Crying has lead to the writing of my best songs–there is always hope at the end and you feel a release and a new inner strength.

2)“Despairing” is a kind of crying that can be destructive if it is habitual because while doing it you are being very mean to yourself and beating yourself up (negative spiraling) the same way your abusers did.  Survivors often need to release and admit these despairing feelings at first which are still repressed from childhood–upon realizing how bad you must have been treated to be a child in such horrible despair, your innate compassion kicks in and you begin to love yourself a little more each time–releasing layer by painful layer of truth is how we heal.

Learning that HSPs with childhood wounds must stop the habit of despairing and turn it into grieving (and be very very kind and gentle to themselves when they are sad and build themselves up instead of continue the abuse of themselves that started as tiny children) will change their lives. I hope you will continue to read more of my blog because I talk about the importance of grieving  losses from childhood quite a bit. Elisabeth, by crying you have bravely started the process of emotional healing–you are on your way to finding out how special and gifted you are and have always been! I hope this has been helpful to you.

With love and light to you and all, Roxanne

ABOUT ME

For a link on more of the benefits of crying see the following article by Dr. Judy Orloff:  The Health Benefit Of Tears.
To all of my wonderful readers, I appreciate you so much!  This Holiday season may all of you open yourselves to receive God’s (The Universe’s) unconditional love and light that shines upon you at all times–and to know that God (The Universe) has bestowed upon you the gift of compassion for the feelings of others.  Be kind to yourself, allow yourself to cry, and “shine your light” upon yourself and others and you will heal!
With love and my warmest holiday wishes to all of you,
Roxanne
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9 responses

  1. Thank you for highlighting the benefits of crying. As an HSP I’ve shed many a tear- often in public, despite trying to hold it back!! I’ve often felt very embarrassed and ashamed for my “breakdown” but have come to realise that crying is often followed by a real feeling of release and relief. Sometimes I want to cry but can’t! So I usually put on a weepy film and that usually sets me off and helps me tap into and release any “stuck” emotion.

    Thanks again.

    Like

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Thanks for personally illustrating exactly what I mean about crying. Yes, crying in public is hardest, we all feel that people are staring and judging–all of us HSPs have been there and so we have compassion for others who cry in public. It’s great that you have experienced the relief and release afterwards and have made that connection. Watching “weepy films” is a great way to help us have a good cry. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! 🙂

      With warm and caring wishes,

      Roxanne

      Like

  2. Roxanne, thanks for another inspiring post. I recently began EMDR therapy to deal with the negative beliefs I have that resulted from growing up with a narcissistic mother, and it has been very helpful. Yesterday I had a breakthrough in which I cried, and it felt really good. I was exploring my belief that I’m not supposed to be comfortable (physically or mentally), which I discovered was connected to my belief that I’m not worth spending money on, and ultimately my belief that I’m not supposed to exist, and sometimes that I actually don’t exist. I spent a lot of my childhood just trying to disappear, to avoid the negative attention of my mother, and it was a successful coping mechanism back then. But as an adult, this approach and belief are not helping me. With EMDR I am processing old painful memories and “reprogramming” my beliefs, and I think it is really working. I can feel my thoughts changing. I am taking steps to take care of myself, to make my home more comfortable, and to increase my income, and I’ve been no-contact with my mother for 18 months.
    Thanks for your blog and your positive messages!

    Like

    1. Hi Tracey,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your success with EMDR therapy. I have heard a little bit about this treatment for PTSD and it sounds very promising for those survivors of narcissists–for those who haven’t heard of it EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I am glad it is helping you to heal the negative core beliefs that are formed in childhood–wonderful news! I plan to learn more about this. I appreciate you sharing that your crying was a breakthrough for you, and that you spent your childhood trying to disappear etc. So many hsp survivors survived by “hiding” –I hope my blog provides a safe place for survivors to “come out” and speak their truth as you have done. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful progress and for your kind words about my posts and blog. With warmest wishes to you, Roxanne

      Like

  3. Roxanne,
    Can I share one of my therapeutic poems that relates to crying? I have shared it with my friends going through hard times.

    U Gotta B Strong

    You gotta be strong
    Hold tight and hang on
    Learn to cope
    Thrive on hope
    Deal with life
    Not a knife
    All you bared
    Don’t be scared
    Don’t hold it all in
    Breathe out Breathe in
    Take a chill pill
    Roll down a hill
    Just let go
    Let tears flow
    Just cry the pain away
    & to God pray
    Let it out
    Write it out
    If you need to weep
    Hug & rock yourself to sleep
    Until you feel that calm
    And you are ready to move on

    Tara

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing this poem with us, Tara. I like it. 🙂 Wise words to live by. You have the answers you need all right here in your own hopeful writing. 😀 Roxanne

      Like

  4. Roxanne,
    I’m glad. Thank you.
    Tara =)

    Like

  5. Hey everyone happy holidays,

    Thank you Elaine for creating and keeping up with this site. This holiday season I am feeling incredibly sad and alone. I have been no contact from my mother for the past few years and this year she actually pops up where I live, the only warning I had was my own psychic inclination and my siblings telling me she was telling them she was in atlanta with me. I didn’t know what to think. So when I saw her I had never been so scared in my life. I confronted her about following me and told her I never wanted to see her again. Then I called the police when I got home. Then I quit my job and went to a silent meditation retreat for 12 days. When I got home I was asked to leave because I didn’t have job. I wasn’t emotionally stable enough to be in area where my mother could reach me. I miss the life I was beggining to build for myself. Now I have to start over. I’m sad because I’m not around people that I can relate to at all but I know that I made a good decision to get away from my abusive mother. Thank you for listening and being empathetic. I can trust you all to be consistitently loving.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Aja B., for sharing your comment with us! My heart goes out to you for all the hardships you’ve endured! Be extra kind to yourself to help cope with the extreme fear from childhood that may have been triggered. Hoping your new beginning life is full of love, peace, and inner strength to go for your dreams! Sending you comfort, caring and healing wishes, Roxanne

      Like

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