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Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

 

For over twenty years as physician, I’ve witnessed, time and again, the healing power of tears. Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration. Also, you can have tears of joy, say when a child is born or tears of relief when a difficulty has passed. In my own life, I am grateful when I can cry. It feels cleansing, a way to purge pent up emotions so they don’t lodge in my body as stress symptoms such as fatigue or pain. To stay healthy and release stress, I encourage my patients to cry. For both men and women, tears are a sign of courage, strength, and authenticity.

 

In “Emotional Freedom,” I discuss the numerous health benefits of tears. Like the ocean, tears are salt water. Protectively they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, and they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes. Our bodies produce three kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional Each kind has different healing roles. For instance, reflex tears allow your eyes to clear out noxious particles when they’re irritated by smoke or exhaust. The second kind, continuous tears, are produced regularly to keep our eyes lubricated--these contain a chemical called “lysozyme” which functions as an anti-bacterial and protects our eyes from infection. Tears also travel to the nose through the tear duct to keep the nose moist and bacteria free. Typically, after crying, our breathing, and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state.

 

Emotional tears have special health benefits. Biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” Interestingly, humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears, though it’s possible that that elephants and gorillas do too. Other mammals and also salt-water crocodiles produce reflex tears which are protective and lubricating.

 

Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. You don’t want to hold tears back. Patients sometimes say, “Please excuse me for crying. I was trying hard not to. It makes me feel weak.”

My heart goes out to them when I hear this. I know where that sentiment comes from: parents who were uncomfortable around tears, a society that tells us we’re weak for crying--in particular that “powerful men don’t cry.” I reject these notions. The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self-awareness to cry. These are the people who impress me, not those who put up some macho front of faux-bravado.

 

Try to let go of outmoded, untrue, conceptions about crying. It is good to cry. It is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress. Crying is also essential to resolve grief, when waves of tears periodically come over us after we experience a loss. Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we are a set up for depression if we suppress these potent feelings. When a friend apologized for curling up in the fetal position on my floor, weeping, depressed over a failing romance, I told her, “Your tears blessed my floor. There is nothing to apologize for.”

 

I’ve been this enthusiastic about crying for years. In fact, during my psychiatric residency at UCLA when supervisors and I watched videos of me with patients, they’d point out that I’d smile when a patient cried. “That’s inappropriate,” they’d say. I disagreed then; still do. I wasn’t smiling because my patients were depressed or grieving. I was smiling because they were courageously healing depression or other difficult emotions with tears. I was happy for their breakthrough. In my life, too, I love to cry. I cry whenever I can. Wish I could more. Thank God our bodies have this capacity. I hope you too can appreciate the experience. Let your tears flow to purify stress and negativity.

 

By DR. Judith Orloff

 

     

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Weight loss affirmations are one of the many daily affirmations that people practice to improve their lives, but are they enough by themselves to make change and how do you practice them effectively?  This article discusses what to include with your positive affirmations for weight loss as well as ways to make them effective.

 

First, when practicing weight loss affirmations or any other self-esteem affirmations, it's important to remember that you are “working from the inside out.”  What that means is that in order to make any change in your life, whether it is focused on your physical body or on your finances, you want to change your mindset and inner mind (your subconscious) before any outer change will show up.

 

While many people already know about this concept, it's not always practiced in such a way in which affirmations for weight loss or self-esteem work as well as they couldIn order to “be thin,” you've got to already “believe” that you are thin and this is where most people “fall off the wagon” and stop doing their daily affirmations when the outer change doesn't come fast enough.

 

So, when you begin, decide to give yourself ample time to make the inner change without any “expectation” of seeing any outer change.

 

Next, you want to include other daily positive affirmations such as self- love affirmations, spiritual affirmations and affirmations of faith and trust.  Why?  Because when you are trying to make change, especially when it is about your own self concept, you really want to “pour on the love” to yourself as well as instill as much “trust” in the process, and in yourself, as possible.

 

In fact, increasing your self-love and ability to trust the process are critical for any affirmations on your list to work.  When you increase this, you have raised your “vibration” to the level of love, which manifests things faster.  Also, when you have greater self-love, you are more likely to treat yourself differently and before you know it, you've lost weight effortlessly.

 

Trusting the process is also important because the vibration of trust is absolutely necessary for attracting what you want, which in this case is to be slender.  And, by the way, when practicing weight loss affirmations, it's vitally important that you not use words such as “don't” or “weight” because they focus your mind on “what you 'don't' want.”

 

For example, “I don't want to overeat” focuses on “overeating.”  On the other hand, weight loss affirmations that include words like slender, beautiful, fit and healthy are better choices because they “focus” on being slender, beautiful, fit and healthy.”

 

AFFIRMATION EXAMPLES TO USE:

 

“I love myself unconditionally just as I am now.”

“I trust my process in becoming more slender.”

“I feel more and more beautiful every day.”

 

 

CREATIVE VISUALIZATION:  Once you find the right weight loss affirmations that make you feel terrific, get a picture of the “perfect for you body” and put it up somewhere around your bed so when you wake up in the morning, you immediately see your goal.  Then close your eyes and really “feel” like your body looks like that, and say your positive affirmations for weight loss, self love affirmations, affirmations of faith and trust and feel grateful.

 

The key point to remember at the outset is that you want to make the inner change happen first and affirmations are a great beginning step, but self-hypnosis could be a better choice for changing your inner mind.  In fact, self-hypnosis for weight loss is very popular simply because it works to change your inner mind first which paves the way for outer change to follow.

 

Once you give yourself time to make the inner change of seeing yourself thinner, without any expectations of seeing the outer change of actually becoming thinner, you'll be surprised at how fast you'll see the outer change happen.

 

By Suzanne Glover


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