I was contemplating all day what in the world will my “C” thing be on how I can become more positive. Then I had an complete panic attack about fifteen minutes ago. Over the past three days my eyelids have been having spasm issues. They get all tight and shut as they shake under the weight of my eyelashes. This is followed by the feeling that my throat is closing up. Right behind the throat closure I start to get the urge to burp. The problem is that I am unable to burp and this leads me to feeling like I cannot breath. The need to burp is a new thing that started this past week. With all this going on at once my anxiety is heightened and my hands began trembling. Last but not least my boyfriend asked if I was okay and that broke my seal. I began a full body cry. I cried to the point that I became lightheaded and my legs weakened. My face then tingled and the hyperventilating commenced.
The panic attack was not in relation to figuring out what to write in my next blog post. Instead the idea was inspired by the panic attack. Crying has always been a stress relieving tool for me. It is sort of counterproductive though because stress is generally the causer of all my non-happy tears. Nonetheless, by the five minute post panic attack mark, I feel better. Lighter even. Temporary but a welcomed feeling.
What is positive about crying? Other than personally feeling better after a good cry I really wasn’t sure so I googled it. I found an article from Psychology Today that discussed the healthy benefits of tears. I learned from my reading that there are three types of tears… each of which have their own health benefits. Granted I had a “duh” moment but to be fair I just didn’t know or remember that they have individual names.
First there are reflex tears. These types of tears clean your eyes of all the annoying things that get in them. Second there are continuous tears. These tears keep our eyes lubricated and protect them from infections. Apparently these types of tears also help your nose stay “moist and bacteria free.” The third type of tears are the emotional ones like those I experienced this evening. According to the article
Emotional tears have special health benefits. Biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.”
The article also states that after we cry “our breathing, and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state.” From this brief research I am able to collaborate my belief that crying makes me feel better. It is not a sign of weakness. It is perfectly healthy and beneficial to just let your stress leave through your eye ducts. It does not solve the issue as soon as I’m done, but it provides some relief so I can get back to solving what is causing the stress and how to eliminate it. In tonight’s case it is nerves. I am leaving an organization I worked for these past seven years. I am starting down a new path and I suppose it has me a bit scared. Ultimately I know deep down that I will do well and be secure in this new position. I guess it is just the anticipation of starting on Monday, getting into a new routine, and meeting new coworkers.