(CNN)Grab a tissue. It's all right to cry. Really.
Although it's often seen as a sign of weakness, crying can be just what the doctor ordered for sorting through muddied emotions and wading out anew.
Our disapproval of emotional expression generally and crying specifically stems from childhood, said Stephen Sideroff, author of "The Path: Mastering the Nine Pillars of Resilience and Success" and an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles.
As kids, we're often taught to restrain our emotions. Maybe you remember being teased in elementary school for crying when you were hurt. Or your parents chastised you by saying, "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about."
Many of us learned there were feelings, such as anger or resentment, that we shouldn't have or express. As children grow into adulthood, we gradually learn to regulate — and sometimes repress and stifle awareness of — our feelings.
So what, you might say? Who cares? But we don't hold emotions in only our heads, Sideroff said. We store them in our bodies, too.
And there's no better day to learn about emotional acceptance than today, which is International Self-Care Day — an annual observance initially marked on July 24, 2011, to spotlight self-care as a vital foundation of