Most people do not like to cry, especially when in front of others. There is a stigma that crying is a sign of weakness.
However, there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to crying. It has numerous health benefits.
According to a recent study, women cry for emotional reasons, on average about 30 to 64 times a year. On the other hand, men only cry 5 to 17 times. These variations may be more pronounced in cultures that allow greater freedom for emotional expression.
So, why shouldn’t you suppress crying? When to seek help from a licensed online therapist? Find out below.
What Are the Benefits of Crying?
Society has tended to frown upon crying, especially among men, judging it as a sign of weakness and lack of emotional stamina. However, researchers have discovered that shedding some tears can be beneficial for both your mind and body.
Here are some notable reasons why you should not be ashamed of crying.
Crying Has a Soothing Effect
One of the best things about crying is that it allows self-soothing. By allowing yourself to feel the emotions, you will be better able to regulate feelings and calm yourself. Crying also will enable people to alleviate their distress.
According to a recent study of cnns, crying could have a direct soothing effect on people. It does this by activating the parasympathetic nervous system in the body. This signals to release tears.
Once your body has completed the emotional purgation, it can slow down your heart rate and breathe to a more controlled level. It ensures positive release to your body, providing a feeling of relief.
Crying Helps with Pain Relief
Another benefit of crying is that it can release endogenous opioids and oxytocin when done for long periods. Endorphins and other chemicals released when crying can help with relieving both emotional and physical pain.
Crying Detoxifies the Body
Ever wondered what tears are made of? Many people don’t know that there are 3 different types of tears. Basal, emotional, and reflex tears all perform different functions.
The work of reflex tears is to clear debris, such as when dust gets into your eyes. On the other hand, basal or continuous tears work by lubricating the eyes, making sure that they are protected from infection.
The third type is emotional tears, which have numerous health benefits. Unlike basal tears that comprise 98% of water, emotional tears contain stress hormones and toxins.
Crying emotional tears “flush out” negative emotions and stress from the body system. Further research and analysis are expected to clarify the dynamics.
Crying Is a Mood Booster
Another considerable benefit of crying is that it can lift your spirits. Recent surveys show that people mostly report feeling better after crying.
However, some have suggested that the reports may be misleading. They argue that what determines how people feel after crying is how others react to their behavior.
If those we care about react with love and understanding, we are much more likely to feel better after crying than if the reaction is negative.
Also, when crying, we tend to take quick breaths of cool air. This can assist in regulating and even lowering the brain temperature. The result may be an improvement of one’s overall mood.
Crying Helps with Recovery from Grief
Evidence also shows that crying is an essential element of the grieving process. It generally involves stages of anger, sorrow, numbness, anger, and guilt. Crying may even help a person who is grieving to process and accept the loss.
We want to reiterate that everyone grieves in different ways. Grief may also last short or long, depending on the nature of the loss, the available social support systems, and your personality factors.
If you find yourself crying in extremes and interfering with your daily life, consider getting help from a mental health professional.
Crying Can Rally Support
Another benefit of crying is that it allows someone going through a hard time to communicate challenges and rally support. You may be facing severe struggles that no one knows about. When someone else sees you crying, the natural reaction will be to try to offer support.
A recent study indicated that crying is an attachment behavior that people use to trigger comfort and feelings of care from loved ones.
So, in addition to helping you self-soothe, crying will allow you to solicit support from people.
Crying Reestablishes Emotional Balance
We don’t just cry when faced with a sad or unpleasant situation. People also cry when very happy, stressed, or even scared.
Crying, therefore, is a way for people to maintain an emotional equilibrium. Crying when nervous or happy is your body’s way of trying to recover and balance intense emotions.
Crying Helps Babies Breathe
When a baby is born, they cry. This is important as they are now changing from their dependency on oxygen in the womb to reliance on the air in our atmosphere. The newborn no longer relies on the umbilical cord as they try to adapt to the new reality.
The crying allows the newborn’s lungs to adjust to their new functions. Also, it helps the baby in clearing out any fluid that may be in the lungs, mouth, and nose.
Crying Soothes Babies to Sleep
Crying also helps in improving the quality of sleep of babies at night. A recent survey showed that when babies cried before being put to bed, they tended to sleep better.
Controlled crying, in this sense, increased sleep quality and lowered the number of times sleep was interrupted during the night.
More research is needed to determine whether the effects of crying on sleep apply to adults.
When Should One Seek Professional Help?
In this article, we have looked at some positive sides of crying. Although crying is normal and can have emotional and physical benefits, some situations may require professional intervention. Don’t be afraid to cry when you experience loss, feel overwhelmed, or experience intense emotions.
However, if you face emotional challenges, constantly suppress your emotions, or seem to cry excessively for no reason, you should consider engaging a therapist.
The good news is that you don’t need to make in-office visits. Teletherapy platforms like Calmerry provide access to affordable and convenient support to people anytime, in any place.