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Letting it out – Is it ok to cry?

Therapists everywhere cheered Andy Murray this week when he let his feelings show in an emotional press conference announcing the end of his tennis career. Murray is contemplating a premature retirement from professional tennis due to a chronic hip problem. This means he’s facing a huge life-change which will challenge his whole sense of identity as a sportsperson, not to mention living with severe daily pain. But rather than ‘putting on a brave face’ or ‘manning up’ he was able to be real about the sadness, doubt and stress he was feeling.

From a psychological perspective this is healthy. When we hold in our pain, grief and anger it sticks around in our system and can emerge later as depression, anxiety or in other health problems. Allowing ourselves to feel – and perhaps even show our feelings – processes our suffering and helps us recover and move on more quickly. This isn’t easy if you’re used to holding it all together and being the strong one. But as Andy Murray shows us, it is possible.

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