Into every life comes a little rain. And sometimes, a good cry. As I update this post in the stressful year 2020, the reasons for tears are particularly numerous.
Tears can be...Happy - people getting engaged, finding out they have booked that gig or won that award, finding out the sickness is curable, hearing just the right song at just the right time, singing an emotionally relevant song to yourself, or just crying from sudden realization of relief and gratitude.
Sad - so many reasons including psychological and/or physical pain, stress overwhelm, hormonal imbalances, loss of something or someone deeply valued, fear and worry of what may come.
Empathetic - seeing others who are hurting can trigger sympathetic sorrow. Sometimes the depth of the pain of compassion can be surprisingly strong.
Healing - tears can help with unblocking pent up feelings and emotions that need to be expressed for well-being. They can also identify hidden unresolved psychological issues that one needs to address. The cathartic release of a good cry can make way for physical and mental health, positivity and solution-finding.
Tears can create vocal problemsIf you have an impending singing or speaking performance, crying can affect your voice:
- It swells the vocal cords. Swollen vocal cords do not work very effectively, period.
- Sinuses also swell. This gives the typical nasal sound, like when you have a cold or sinus infection.
- All kinds of vocal problems present... including limited range and impaired vocal control.
- It can lead to vocal damage. If even an infant crys too hard or long, the vocal cords can start to be injured. Long enough, it can turn into the beginning of nodes.
- It can take time for the cord swelling to go down. A lengthy period of crying, such as in mourning or from depressions, can cause chronic swelling that needs time to shrink. Voice rest is imperative, not to mention physical rest and psychological peace.
- If you have to sing or speak and the subject is intensely personal for you (say singing or speaking at a funeral) you can delay the cry by purposefully focusing outside yourself. This is a rare time when numbing your emotions can work for your voice. Just make sure you release that numbness into feeling again after your performance.
- There are ways to purposefully simulate crying, even producing tears but without tightening and swelling your singing voice. This acting technique is often necessary for musical theater.
- Also make sure to give yourself time to center yourself with deep breaths before your performance. This can put you in the control zone.
Whatever the reason for tears, I wish you healing, closure, hope, and a center of peace.