Is OK to cry? Is it good for you? Researchers say tears will make you feel better. Here are seven more health benefits of crying.
Crying is such a common reaction that can be triggered by all types of emotions. We cry when we’re sad, happy, excited, anxious, and so on.
There are numerous reasons that can make us cry. But the question is, why do we actually cry? And is it good for us?
Crying is part of our development even since day one. I mean, after birth, babies cry most of the time. That’s because crying is good both for our bodies and for our minds, according to research.
So let’s take a look over the health benefits of crying and how it can help you cope with different conditions.
Health Benefits Of Crying
Here’s why it’s perfectly okay to cry from time to time, according to scientific research:
1. Soothes You
Did you notice that, after a few minutes of crying, you suddenly start feeling better? That’s because of the soothing effect of crying.
In a 2014 study, researchers have found that crying activates a system that helps your body relax, rest, digest, and calm down. It’s called the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
So, whenever you feel overwhelmed, don’t hold back the tears. Crying will actually soothe you, relieve the stress and anxiety, calm you down, and help you make better decisions.
2. Dulls Pain
The same 2014 research has found that crying relieves endorphins (endogenous opioids) and oxytocin.
According to Medical News Today, oxytocin “is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth and breast-feeding. It is also associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building“.
As you can see, these chemicals not only make you feel better, but they actually bring your body into some sort of numbness where the pain fades away.
Crying is like a drug for your brain to forget about the pain. That’s why it’s the first thing kids do after they fall or hurt themselves.
3. Boosts Mood
Chemicals such as oxytocin and endorphins, those released when crying, are known to promote pleasure, positive thinking, and happy thoughts.
Besides improving your mood by releasing the feel-good chemicals, crying can also lower the temperature of your brain. And a cool brain will lift your spirits better than a warm one.
4. Relieves Stress
A 2019 study found that crying when you’re stressed can help you better cope with the situation, relieve the stress, and recover faster.
By relieving the stress, crying aids your emotional health. So don’t hold back those tears!
5. Aids Sleep
Crying before falling asleep helped infants sleep better and longer at night, according to this study.
Now, this is not yet demonstrated in adults. But with the mood-boosting, stress-relieving, and soothing properties of crying, we can safely say that crying can help you fall asleep easier.
6. Cleans Your Eyes
Crying is also a cleaning mechanism for your eyes. The antimicrobial compound found in the tears, lysozyme, kills all the bacteria that might otherwise affect your vision.
All micro-particles such as dust, debris, or smoke are also removed when you cry.
7. Restores Emotional Balance
We don’t cry only when we’re sad. People also cry when they’re extremely happy, stressed, or scared. Usually, powerful emotions are triggers for crying.
This is actually our body’s way to deal with strong emotions and restore emotional balance.
It’s Okay To Cry
Don’t be afraid to cry since, as you can see above, crying is so beneficial for your physical and emotional health.
Whenever you feel the need to release in response to strong emotions, don’t hold back your tears. They are a normal, healthy way to express emotion.
However, if you cry a few times a day without an emotional reason, then you should talk with your doctor. Excessive crying might be a sign of depression.