THE BLOG

An Effective 'Workout'

03/27/2015 10:43 am ET | Updated May 27, 2015

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In these times of health, wellness and fitness... where everyone is clocking their steps, movements, repetitions, gym hours and/or yoga positions... I'd like to discuss another activity that conjures well-being while also creating a stress release.

C-R-Y-I-N-G... The stuff of poem and song. The overlooked, time-tested, stress-relieving, blues-busting activity known to people of all ages, backgrounds, races, sexes, and religions. Yes... crying. While this activity may not have the stealth power and ability to strengthen your upper body, carve your thighs, or flatten your abs... let us not underestimate what it can provide!

Crying when one feels sad or traumatized reveals a healthy psyche... for only one in touch with their emotions and in touch with reality can truly cry in the face of tragedy, loss and sadness. I am one such person, and so, I believe I speak as somewhat of an authority on the subject of crying.

As a mother who lost a daughter, my precious Cait Chivonne at age 28 in 2011, I can assure you I am quite an authority indeed. You see, crying has become a part of my regular life since that fateful day in 2011 when my girl left this world, as we know it.

Yes, crying is a often a part of my life now. But, please... don't cry for me! You see, crying can be an effective workout, an emotional workout if you will, for you put your whole heart and soul into it. It comes from a very deep and painful place and wracks your entire body and soul. Oh, but when you surrender to the power of your sorrow and your tears, you are thrown into a tumultuous ride, which includes heaving, gasping, exploding, screaming, gripping, and imploding... just to name a few of the gyrations you will encounter.

Now, I am not here to garner sympathies... rather, I am here to tout the benefits and sing the praises of crying! For while I may be a no-show at the gym... while my wrists are clad in silver bangles rather than a Fitbit... while my pose is more fetal than downward dog... I propose I am "working out" as I cry. While I may not be working out physically to the benefit of my figure and physique... I am effectively working out to the benefit of my emotional and mental well-being... and I am most certainly working out to the benefit and betterment of my spiritual wellness.

Tears are a natural release which can provide a cleansing for our hearts and souls, while also providing an emotional outlet when we erupt from within. The incredible power of our emotion is brought forth in a deluge which, in doing so, releases healing from within... soothing our aching hearts. I always feel a tremendous comfort and a sense of lift after I cry.

Sadly, we have been so socialized against crying. We are raised and taught to "keep a stiff upper lip," "buck up" and begged "oh, please don't cry!" And, what we as a society have done to men! To take away one of their God-given gifts... to belittle young boys when tears would normally flow, and demand grown men to "be strong." Just how confused can a society be?

My advice, as the self-proclaimed expert I am... is when you need to... go ahead and have a good cry... when you are sad, in the face of tragedy, or overwhelmed with loss... go ahead and cry! Tears are a gift and crying pays honor to the person or situation you cry for.

May we find the healing and the beauty of our tears... as we aspire to achieve balance in our lives.