Ronda Rousey, former UFC champion and perennial contender, is one tough lady. But, if you were to take a guess as to what she does before every fight, you'd probably be wrong. Being a professional fighter, one might assume that she probably spends her time punching practice dummies, cranking out pushups, or just straight up breaking through doors.
So, what does she actually do? In her own words, "When I’m about to fight, I’m the most emotional. Like my last fight, I like totally cried the day before that."
That might seem a bit surprising, but some of history's toughest, most accomplished people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and President Barack Obama have all been unafraid to cry, sometimes even publicly. While most of us have a taboo about crying being a sign of weakness, psychologists say crying is really a sign of mental strength. Here's why:
1. Being able to cry means you aren't scared of your emotions.
Crying makes you confront your feelings, whether it's sadness, anger, frustration, or whatever else. Confronting our emotions isn't easy. It's easier in the short term to just suppress these feelings. Facing them and experiencing them head-on requires mental fortitude and an ability to look inwards.
2. Crying shows you aren't concerned about social expectations
Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Emmeline Parkhurst are just some examples of people throughout history who weren't afraid to defy convention. While crying isn't exactly the most incendiary form of rebellion, it does tend to get looked down on by people of both genders. Men who cry are weak and not manly, and women who cry are overly dramatic.
Crying despite the stigma shows that you aren't afraid to defy social convention in order to deal with your emotions. That's not weakness, it's strength.
3. Crying shows you're a leader.
When you cry openly, you liberate the people around you to open up as well. This is especially true during a shared circumstance. In these cases, your crying gives other people permission to react and face their emotions as well.
4. Crying shows you know when to let go of your emotions.
It's important to be able to relieve stress. Bottling things up makes it worse, and, eventually, you're likely to explode. When that happens, it can be incredibly destructive for you and the people around you. Crying can help relieve this stress. Just think of it as a pressure release valve.
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H/T: David Wolfe