by Nicole Stottlemyer

Right before I’m about to shed a tear, my whole body feels funny.

It’s as if every cell is expanding out from my heart. I feel the tear welling up.

Sometimes this comes from feeling sad, and sometimes it comes from joy. This past weekend, it was the latter.

I arrived early at our most recent CiPP Tour event. The hostess and I chatted while she finished putting out the food and drinks. Then I set out various items I had brought (flipchart, pens, paper, sticky notes) to use for the activities I had planned. We were all set for our fellow CiPPsters to arrive!

As people began to trickle in, we exchanged the typical niceties and small talk. But what happened next was something I didn’t expect.

Two graduates from CiPP1 arrived, and neither of them had known that the other was planning to attend. They greeted each other with excitement: “I didn’t know you were coming!” “It’s sooo good to see you!” The look of pure elation on their faces grew with each step they took toward each other. Like long-lost brothers, they embraced—both arms fully wrapped around each other, with big pats on their backs.

Starting with my heart, every cell in my body began to expand as I witnessed their reunion. Uh oh, I thought. I’m about to cry. I couldn’t hold it back and, to tell the truth, I didn’t want to. A tear streamed down my face.

Even writing this brings a tear to my eye as I remember how good it felt.

Crying from happiness—and sometimes sadness, too—doesn’t just feel good; it’s actually good for us. Research suggests that crying makes nine out of 10 people feel better, reduces stress, and might help to keep the body healthy. Emotionally induced tears actually have a different chemical makeup than the ones you shed when you’re cutting an onion or you get something in your eye.

For me, those tears of joy reminded me why I love facilitating these meet-ups: Helping people get together, rekindle old connections, and make new ones is so fulfilling for me. In the words of Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert, “Social relationships are a powerful predictor of happiness—much more so than money. Happy people have extensive social networks and good relationships with the people in those networks.”

And that is exactly what the CiPP Tours are all about. Relationships that are formed during CiPP are priceless—they can be measured only in what Tal Ben-Shahar calls “the ultimate currency.” And that’s worth crying about.

Find out more about upcoming CiPP Tours.

Click here to learn more about the Certificate in Positive Psychology.


Nicole Stottlemyer is a coach, facilitator, and senior teaching assistant with Wholebeing Institute, and holds Wholebeing certificates in Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology Coaching.