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Why it’s okay to cry at work and not a sign of weakness

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Your workplace may be the last place you want to cry in. That’s because one feels that crying at work may be seen as a sign of weakness by many. Nevertheless, considering how much time we spend in office, it can inevitably happen sometimes. You might cry due to a fight at home or at work, or even due to the burden of stress. You could get anxious about what your co-workers may think of you or how your outburst will affect your reputation in the workplace. But don’t feel bad about crying at work!

HealthShots consulted Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj, who says that crying is not only related to grieving and loss. It may also be a response of aggression. Many people shed tears when they experience frustration, anxiety or intense love and commitment in their profession.

crying at work
Crying at work is not always related to grieving or loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

However, increasing talks on mental health has sensitised organisations and bosses to accept and understand crying in reaction to an emotionally charged circumstance or conflict (ways to relax body and mind in office). So yes, crying at work is okay and should not be considered as a sign of weakness.

Crying in public and mental health

Crying at work may make people perceive you as immature or it may even seem like a sign of poor self-control. But then we are all emotional creatures, so it is okay for us to express our emotions. Keeping uncomfortable emotions within, or what psychologists refer to as repressive coping, may be detrimental to our health, making crying an essential safety valve. According to Raj, repressive coping has been related to mental health issues such as:

• Stress
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Weakened immune system
• Cardiovascular disease
• Hypertension

She notes that it has also been established that crying promotes connection, empathy and support from friends and family, increasing attachment behaviour (a good cry is beneficial for you).

crying at work
You shouldn’t feel bad about crying at work. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Reasons why you shouldn’t feel bad about crying at work

Crying usually results from being taken off guard and being unable to manage your emotions at the time. This is especially true if you identify as someone who is extremely sensitive. So, it’s crucial to empower yourself with techniques for controlling your emotions before they overwhelm you, says Raj.

Here are some benefits of crying

1. Crying relieves tension

Tears can function similarly to exercising self-compassion or simply being more kind to yourself in general.

2. Crying eases tension

Consider your tears as a little cleansing agent that helps to ease tension, especially at a workplace where you are competing with so many people.

3. Crying makes your mood better

When you cry, your brain releases the feel-good chemicals oxytocin and endorphins, so you will feel much better (how to boost happy hormones).

4. Sense of relief after crying

You sense a relief after crying a little, and your emotions become a little more manageable after that, says Raj.

Sometimes, sobbing can indicate a problem, particularly if it occurs frequently or mysteriously, or if it starts to interfere with everyday activities or becomes uncontrollable. It could be a sign of depression, so it is recommended that you see a professional. An expert can help in identifying the issue and recommending the best course of action.

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