So many of you responded about last week’s “Stressed?” video and the prior week about feeling “bleh” – I hope this week message is helpful as well because it is about CRYING – even when we are strong independent women and don’t want to!
Maybe it’s remnants of last week’s Boston tragedy or that I’m overwhelmed with too much to do, or maybe it’s heartbreak from a recent break-up, but whatever it is, I was crying all weekend. SOBBING!
While this isn’t easy to admit, we need to GET REAL. Do you ever feel this way? When you KNOW everything is “okay”… you KNOW that moods are temporary, and that your emotions are running wild – and yet, you still can’t seem to stop them??
Know that you are not alone. Between my friends, my clients and me, I feel like we are filling up the Niagra with these tears! Why are so so many of us are experiencing this right now? Deepak Chopra’s website suggests that we’re “Spring Cleaning” out the emotional gunk. As women, we are so nurturing. We give and give, which is what makes us great confidants. However, we’ve been SO STRONG for SO LONG running our businesses and homes and lives, we need a release!
My friend, whatever the reason you’re crying, it’s okay. You’re not a freak or weak or a crybaby. You’re human. A superhuman, perhaps, with a million responsibilities and exceptional strength, but still human. Strong emotional reaction is natural. The great positive psychologist and author, Jonathan Haidt, likens this type of emotional response to a tiny little rider trying to guide and rein in a huge elephant. The huge elephant is our unconscious mind and automatic systems that run wild while our little rider, the conscious mind, tries to rein it in. This takes a lot of mental training – and a lot of self-compassion.
So what to do when you’re crying like Niagra?
1. Allow it to happen. You obviously have a lot of pent up emotion inside. Some people scream and yell to release emotions; some people cry. Find a safe space and let yourself release. According to the Chopra Center, we need to feel the emotion with openness and acceptance, and allow it to flow through us.
2. Reach out for support. Women with close women friends live longer. Though we try to do it all on our own, we’re not wired for solo emoting. We’re social animals, which means that we need each other. Think about women in the days of the “Red Tent” – women supported each other through life. Call a friend, ask the Barista at your coffee shop for a hug or reach out to a coach. We all need people helping us to see what we cannot see and lifting us to the next level.
3. Hug yourself through it, as you would a small child. If your young child or niece approached you crying and afraid, what would you do? You probably wouldn’t belittle her, yell at her, or just tune her out. The last thing we need when crying is to beat ourselves up or go into denial (that’s when it builds to Niagra levels). We need love and self-care. Beyond the mani-pedi, we need to ask ourselves what we need (love, peace, serenity) and take 5 minutes to give that to ourselves. Today, a brilliant client said to me, “we only have a breakdown when something is familiar.” So love yourself and every part of you through it.4. Once you've allowed yourself to cry, you just need to shift. Get out of the house, go for a run, DO something else. Even if it feels impossible. Remember your purpose and take one step toward it. Force yourself. Doing gets us over paralysis and makes us feel productive, all leading to increasing positive emotions and healing!