Crying is a natural response humans have to a range of emotions, including sadness, grief, joy, and frustration. But does crying have any health benefits?
It is not unusual to cry, and both sexes cry more than people may assume. In the United States, women cry an average of 3.5 times per month and men cry an average of 1.9 times a month.
Interestingly, humans are the only animals to cry tears. This article explores why we cry and what health benefits crying may have.
Why do people cry?
Humans produce three types of tears:
- Basal: The tear ducts constantly secrete basal tears, which are a protein-rich antibacterial liquid that help to keep the eyes moist every time a person blinks.
- Reflex: These are tears triggered by irritants such as wind, smoke, or onions. They are released to flush out these irritants and protect the eye.
- Emotional: Humans shed tears in response to a range of emotions. These tears contain a higher level of stress hormones than other types of tears.
Benefits of crying
As a phenomenon that is unique to humans, crying is a natural response to a range of emotions, from deep sadness and grief to extreme happiness and joy. But is crying good for your health? The answer appears to be yes. The medical benefits of crying have been known as far back as the Classical era.
Thinkers and physicians of ancient Greece and Rome posited that tears work like a purgative, draining off and purifying us. Today’s psychological thought largely concurs, emphasizing the role of crying as a mechanism that allows us to release stress and emotional pain.
Crying is an important safety valve, largely because keeping difficult feelings inside — what psychologists call repressive coping — can be bad for our health.
Crying has also been shown to increase attachment behavior, encouraging closeness, empathy, and support from friends and family.
People may try to suppress tears if they see them as a sign of weakness, but science suggests that doing so could mean missing out on a range of benefits. Researchers have found that crying
1. Crying Flushes Out Toxins And Bacteria
…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit. Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning
Although the author of the young adult novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events is not the most literary writer discussed in this article, his comment is one of the most profound. Even if all we’re left with are drier eyes, we feel better after weeping.
What is the reason for this? Because of the most evident scientific benefit of crying: the act itself removes rubbish from your body, such as poisons and bacteria.
Dr. William Frey, a scientist and world-renowned expert on tears, observed that tears triggered by emotions include more poisons, implying that when those tears leave your body, you are purifying yourself of those toxins.
Tears also combat bacteria that we can pick up from shared goods or spaces, so if you cry, you’re less likely to miss work due to illness! Crying, as strange as it may sound, may be beneficial to your overall health.
2. Crying Relieves You
Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of the earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Even without the scientific proof that we have now, Dickens knew a lot about the benefits of crying. Tears aid in the management of something called manganese levels, which is why we feel “better after we cry.”
Overexposure to manganese can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including uneasiness, irritability, anxiety, aggression, and other forms of distress.
Emotional tears actually lower our levels because they contain more albumin protein, which aids in the passage of tiny molecules through our bodies.
You may not fully get the biology behind it, but the point is that crying makes you feel better.
We also feel less anxious after a good weep. Tears leaving your body when you weep, according to scientists, are similar to perspiration leaving your body when you exercise. The chemicals that cause stress are being expelled from your body.
Stress relief is high on many people’s priority lists, and it’s crucial to getting things done, and it may sometimes be as simple as shedding a few tears!
3. Opens Up Your Vulnerable Side
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. Robert Frost
Famous poet Robert Frost (author of The Road Not Taken) is primarily talking about the art of storytelling in this remark, but his message also appropriately defines how sobbing can help you connect better with specific people.
That isn’t to say you should cry every day after work on the metro, but if the circumstances are appropriate, it shouldn’t hurt to cry in front of a friend. Most of the time, that person will appreciate the fact that you were so directly with them.
Peeling away the layers of someone to get to their core is one of the most challenging components of forming a friendship. Crying is frequently (and incorrectly) interpreted as a sign of weakness, but making oneself vulnerable demonstrates your strength.
It’s critical to get past your pride, as we’ve discussed before in relation to happiness. Keep that in mind if other people are sobbing in front of you or if you’re embarrassed because you’re crying in front of someone else. Don’t beat yourself up about it; just let the tears fall.
4. Tears Help The Grieving Process
Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones are sealed inside to comfort us. Brian Jacques, Taggerung
As crucial as being motivated while you’re unhappy is, the death of a loved one or a big loss of any type typically necessitates what’s known as a “wallowing period.”
Everyone requires time to absorb their emotions, perhaps with the aid of a large container of ice cream and a favorite film. A nice, long weep is usually part of grieving a loss.
Crying is probably a significant component of each of the five phases of mourning suggested by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). During the rehabilitation process, each stage may result in tears.
5. It’s Is A Crucial Step To Start Moving Forward
Those who do not weep, do not see. Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
This quote is both metaphorically and literally correct.
Tears are responsible for our ability to see on a scientific level. That is exactly why they are there. Tears lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids while also helping to keep our mucous membranes hydrated.
Dr. Jerry Bergman demonstrates in his excellent article “The Miracle of Tears” that seeing would be extremely difficult in the short term and impossible in the long run without tears.
Tears also allow us to look into the future, allowing us to see beyond what we’re crying about.
We can go on to feel delighted about the present and future by letting go of the pain we’ve suffered due to things in our past. It’s critical to let go of your emotions rather than bury them. This allows you to keep moving forward and achieve the success you’ve always desired.
Crying is commonly associated with anything negative, yet by releasing your emotions, you are allowing yourself to be open to something positive in the future. When you feel the tears starting to flow, remember these advantages of crying.