Benefits of crying: Why do we cry? Discover 9 psychological benefits
Benefits of crying. Why do we cry? Is crying unhealthy for you? We cry for joy, for emotion, for love, for sadness, for pain, for anger, etc. We cry because it is a way of expressing ourselves, crying helps us to reduce stress and improve our mood. Although some of us are ashamed to cry, it is good for your health! Do you know the benefits we get when we cry? Read more to find out!
Since we were born, crying is very present in our lives. Think that the first thing we do when we come to the world is cry! We cry since we are children, when we are hungry, cold, when we fall, when we do not want to do the homework. However, when we grow and we become mature and responsible people, we make the mistake of feeling weak when we cry. We don’t speak about crying, let alone cry in front of someone else.
There are many articles on the benefits of laughter, laughing therapy and how it can make us feel better. Nevertheless, no one seems to talk about the benefit of tears or the benefits of crying. The fact is that crying is underestimated since we usually associate tears to sorrow or bad moments in our lives or even other negative emotions. However, crying is highly beneficial for you.
Benefits of crying- Why do we cry?
In our society, there are countless situations that could trigger crying. We can cry because of sadness from different situations in our lives (breakups, divorce, death or illness of a relative, etc.) or from situations that happen around us (inequality in the world, terrorism,etc.). We can also cry from joy or “happy tears” (when we strive so hard to achieve our goal and we feel proud) or even empathy (we see someone cry and feel the need to do it ourselves). However, it is not as acceptable to be seen crying in public and that is why we try to avoid it at all costs.
Most people, consider tears as a symbol of weakness. That is why even today we are surprised when we see a man crying. Why?
From childhood, children are educated not to cry and if they do it to hide from everybody else. We hear phrases such as “no one should see you crying, men do not cry, men are always strong“. Let me tell you that is a big MISTAKE. On the other hand, we should educate our children (both boys and girls) so that since childhood they are able to cry without being ashamed. Children should understand how important it is to show their feelings and blow off steam with tears.
Do you know that crying is fundamental for our development? The tears that we shed when we cry activate hormones that have a calming effect. They also help eliminate certain substances that act as depressants (adrenaline, oxytocin, and noradrenaline) causing us sadness.
Benefits of Crying
1. Crying produces health benefits both mentally and psychologically.
When we cry we decrease the intensity of the emotions we feel. It causes us to eliminate negative feelings like anguish or pain and feel better.
2. Crying relaxes us.
Surely you have heard that “after the storm, the sun comes out.” This is a perfect example of what happens when we cry, because when we cry the same thing happens … after we “cry a river” we feel relaxed and calm. It could be compared to that warm bath after that hard day of work.
3. The tears we shed clean our eyes.
Tears lubricate our eyes so they do not dry out. They help us to see better and kills bacteria that accumulates in your eyes. Tears also work as natural painkillers because they contain proteins.
4. When you cry, you say goodbye to stress.
After a fight with your partner, your friends or your family, in the end, there are times that you end up “crying your eyes out”. Don’t you feel lighter? By releasing the stress, your body and you start to feel calm. That is because you have released all the tension accumulated by removing all the toxins from your body. We release adrenaline and noradrenaline that eliminate both physical and psychological stress and makes us able to remain calm in stressful situations.
5. Although it seems incredible, crying improves your mood.
When you cry, there is an endorphin increase that makes your mood improve. After crying, we usually feel a sense of relief. This comes from seeing that we have somehow released the pressure we had inside us. When we cry we express our feelings and this makes us feel better about ourselves.
6. Crying improves health.
According to some studies, people who cry more often have fewer gastrointestinal and breathing illnesses than those who do not. For example, it has been shown that in general women (crying more than men) suffer fewer heart attacks and ulcers.
7. Crying improves our perspective of the situation.
By feeling this way we can see the situation from a clearer perspective. When we cry, we become more aware of our “weaknesses” and it helps to solve what concerns us from a more adequate perspective.
8. Crying can be a way to ask for help.
When we see someone is crying, our empathy increases and we feel the need to go help him and offer assistance. The person who is sad, usually thanks for the help that is offered and feels incredibly grateful. Therefore, we can say that crying forges the bond between people.
9. Crying works like an escape valve.
If we do not allow ourselves to cry and show our emotions and feelings, we will feel more pressure inside ourselves and this will lead for us to feel more powerless.
Why should we not hold back tears?
When we are faced with complicated situations for us, whatever they are, it is advisable to relieve ourselves with someone who transmits confidence and if we feel the need to cry, to do so.
The worst thing that can be done in situations where we feel bad is to keep it locked up. People tend to say “I don’t want to worry anyone”, “my problems are mine and mine alone and no one has to carry them”, “this is my thing, I will solve it”, “I am not going to cry, I am strong and I can handle it”, etc.
An important tip is that any emotion that we don’t show or release, it stays stored inside and accumulates until the only solution is exploding when you least expect it. Imagine we are a balloon and our emotions are air if you fill it and fill it without stopping eventually it will pop. Basically, that’s what happens to us, our mind won’t be able to take it and we will start manifesting anxiety symptoms, illnesses, and even depression.
All this could be avoided by letting go and expressing your emotions the moment you feel them. It’s important to face the situations and not avoid them.
Being strong is not suppressing tears and acting like machines without emotions.
To be strong is to face what life has in store and if you think that crying you will feel better, I encourage you to do it.
We hope this article brought you to tears of joy and if you have any comment feel free to leave it below :).
Alejandra is a clinical and health psychologist. She is a child specialist with a diploma in evaluation and intervention in autism. She has worked in different schools with young children and private practice for over 6 years. She is interested in early childhood intervention, emotional intelligence, and attachment styles. As a brain and human behavior enthusiast, she is more than happy to answer your questions and share her experience.