Having had a darn good cry myself, and in-fact, providing a shoulder to a couple of mums over the past few weeks for them to shed some tears, I thought I’d take a quick look at why there’s nothing like a good cry to make you feel better.
Society often considers shedding tears to be a sign of weakness, encouraging us to keep it in, stay strong, stiff upper lip and all that. However, researchers have proven what most of us have already figured out ourselves, that it is actually a cathartic experience, and often totally and utterly necessary for us to continue functioning.
Neuroscientist Dr. William H. Frey states “Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it’s a healthy one.”
It is a natural way to reduce stress that, if left unchecked, can have negative physical effects on the body.
Research also shows that 85 percent of women and 73 percent of men feel less sad and angry after shedding some tears.
So, How Crying Is Good for You?
1. It Relieves Stress
Stress can cause cause tension headaches and migraines, among other health issues.
2. Crying Lowers Blood Pressure
Crying has been found to lower blood pressure and pulse rate
3. Tears Remove Toxins
Tears help humans eliminate chemicals like cortisol that build up during emotional stress and can wreak havoc on the body
4. It Reduces Manganese
The simple act of crying also reduces the body’s manganese level, a mineral which affects mood. Elevated levels can be associated with anxiety, irritability and aggression.
5. Allows You To Embrace Your Emotions and Humanity
Interestingly, it is thought that only human beings shed tears in response to emotional stress. Crying allows us to acknowledge how we are feeling. In fact, it's an important social function. It helps communicate the strength and nature of relationships, elicit sympathy and draws us closer to each other.
But, really, nobody likes to cry, especially in front of others. Crying often leaves you feeling vulnerable, puffy eyed, stuffy nosed and at times even feeling broken down or weak. However, when it comes to crying there is nothing to be ashamed of, it shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing.
However, crying can strengthen our relationships with others
Crying in front of others invites them to see us in a different way. They can see our feelings and emotions, in ways that words can't convey. This shared experience can promote a deeper emotional bond between family, friends and those we spend time with.
There have been many an occasion in my classes where emotions have run high, tears have been shed, reassurance and unconditional understanding has been on hand. We have gone away feeling empowered, strengthened, understood and supported.
So, next time you feel your lip begin to quiver and your eyes begin to fill, don’t hold it in! Let it all out and enjoy all of the physical and emotional benefits those tears have to offer!