3 minute video with Jay Efran’s theory on why we cry. He suggestes that crying indicates a shift from sympathetic nervous system (fight flight) with intense problem solving to parasympathetic nervous system which is experienced as a kind of relief and regulation. I think this is really interesting. The study I have done with Venonique Mead and others (trained in Somatic Experiencing and Somatic Psychotherapy) helped me see a personal pattern where I would talk myself into a highly aroused (sympathetic) state and then cry but the crying would become a habitual state that I would become stuck in, like a whirlpool. The belief was that if I just talked and cried I would feel better but the crying became a dysregulated state of it’s own. I’m applying Efran’s therory here and it makes sense. But for me the full relief and regulation did not come with this kind of crying, it just kept me in a dysregulated state but I suspect that it was more regulated than the sympathetic, if that makes sense. This is why I would cry so much because I expected to down regulate the arousal but through repetition and some kind of complex trauma (?) I was not regulating as well as I could. Another somatic psychotherapist, Carol Weaver in Sydney, Australia once described hoe I could tell the difference between “good” crying and “bad” (or regulating and not so regulating): the good kind you felt relaxed afterwards.

Jay Efran: The Emotion Revolution Excerpt – YouTube.