Did you know there are different tears for different emotions? "There are three different types of tears: basal (lubricating), reflex (responding to stimuli) and psychic (triggered by emotion). Each type of tear contains different organic substances, and the molecular makeup depends on the causative agent. For instance, emotional tears contain the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin, a natural painkiller that the body releases to mitigate stress." If you click here, you can read the article and see tears photographed under a microscope. You can also read about Tears on Wikipedia.
The science of it is all well and good except when I'm right in the middle of a breakdown.
I am not generally one who cries. I don't like to cry in public; heck, I don't like to cry when I'm by myself. But sometimes there's nothing for it. I can't stop the tears. What I have found is that after the release of crying (and maybe with a nap afterwards), my emotions are better. I honestly feel a bit better. At that point, I remind myself it's okay to cry. I don't always remember this tool (or I hide it), but if I'm to the point of needing a good cry, I should just do it, even if I think I'll never feel happy again. But it's kind of like when I'm sick but I don't want to throw up. Once I finally get rid of what's on the inside, I don't feel as horrible. I may not be totally well, but I do feel better. So, I have to remind myself, "Cry, cry, cry!" It's like throwing out the sickness on the inside. I'll probably need to have a good cry again another day but that's okay.
There's something else I say to myself on a cry day. It probably isn't the nicest thing to say to oneself but here goes. Mostly, crying does not come at a convenient time. I've got something that must be done at home. (If it's in public, I won't cry until I'm home.) And so I say to myself, "Cry all you want but keep moving." So I've cried while working on some task that had to be done. At least I gave myself permission to cry, knowing that a good cry can be helpful.
Tool #6 HAVE A GOOD CRY AND THEN MOVE ON.