Trying to ignore your negative emotions is the worst thing you can do to get past them. Sure, it might come with temporary comfort, but pretending problems don’t exist only delays the inevitable. No matter how hard you try, you can’t run and hide from your feelings forever. To move forward, you need to feel the emotions and understand why you’re feeling down in the first place. Let the tears flow. How long has it been since you’ve had a good cry? It may feel like a sign of weakness, but dealing with your emotions actually takes a lot of guts and vulnerability. Instead of running from it, be still and soak in it. The sooner you confront your past, the sooner you can move forward into a better future. Letting it all out will actually help you to let go of your hurt and live a happy life.

Besides, releasing your tears helps you flush out toxins. Tears that are provoked by stress actually help your body rid itself of nasty chemicals that raise the stress hormone, cortisol. So you’ll feel a whole lot better physically once you cry out all that poison. A study performed at the University of Florida found that crying is more effective than any antidepressant on the market. A good cry improved the mood of almost 90% of those who were studied, leaving only 10% reporting that crying made them feel worse.

Expressing your hurt can also help others who are going through the same thing. Your public exploration and acceptance of your personal pain can actually inspire others to do the same. I bet there are a lot of other people who know exactly how you feel, and they would be so appreciative of your understanding. It may look like the opposite of JOYkwondo, but it isn’t. It’s simply a darker form of it. People may not always be able to relate to someone who’s just happy all the time. They can, however, be inspired by someone who has pain but finds their way back to the light and overcomes.

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