Tears – they often come uninvited during moments of intense emotion, be it sadness, joy, anger, or stress. However, societal norms or personal reasons may sometimes compel us to hold back our tears. Although it might seem like a small act, holding back tears can have more significant effects on our bodies than we might imagine. Here’s what happens when you hold back tears.

1. Increased Stress

Tears release stress hormones and toxins from the body. Holding them back can cause these hormones to build up, leading to increased stress levels.

2. Suppressed Emotions

Regularly denying your body’s natural response to let tears flow can lead to suppressed emotions, negatively impacting mental health over time and possibly leading to issues such as anxiety and depression.

3. Headaches and Other Physical Pain

The exertion of holding back tears can lead to tension headaches. Some people may also experience other physical manifestations of the stress associated with repressing tears, like neck pain or chest tightness.

4. Mental Exhaustion

It requires a significant amount of mental effort to fight your body’s natural reaction to cry. This ongoing struggle can lead to feelings of fatigue or mental exhaustion.

5. Potential Impact on Relationships

Masking your genuine emotions can create distance in relationships. Openly expressing feelings through tears facilitates emotional bonding and helps others understand what you’re going through.

Remember, it’s completely natural to cry, and it’s an important part of the body’s defense mechanism. Tears help us communicate, cope with feelings, and self-soothe. So next time you feel a lump in your throat and a tear welling up, try to find a safe space to let it out – it’s your body doing its job to protect your emotional well-being.

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Anthony Emecheta

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