Let It Out: Five Surprising Health Benefits of Crying

Shopify API August 03, 2022 No Comments
These five surprising health benefits of crying will have you reaching for the tissues. Crying improves mood, supports grieving, and helps detox.
health benefits of crying: man crying on the floor
August 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.
health benefits of crying: man crying on the floor

Crying is as inherently human as breathing, eating, or sleeping. People cry when they're grieving and when they're happy. Babies cry as they come out of the womb, and everyone automatically cries when smoke gets in their eyes.
And yet, because crying often comes alongside intense bouts of emotion, tears are associated with weakness. Others believe that crying is cathartic. One study in the UK showed that people who cry in public are generally seen as less competent, and the loss of competence was worse for men than women. Crying is often perceived as evidence of emotional instability and weakness.

On average, women cry about twice as often as men, but men are not immune to the emotional turmoil that leads to tears. Moreover, in most cultures, men are judged harshly if they cry- either in private or public. But it turns out that tears have some surprising health benefits.

The health benefits of crying begin during infanthood but continue well into adulthood. Keep reading to learn why your tears are a valuable asset to wellness.

 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Crying

Crying has at least five health benefits, from emotional well-being to physical health. You'll learn precisely why the next time you start to tear up, you should just let it out! Situations from dealing with grief to improving life's happiest moments show that tears are intrinsically connected to human emotional well-being.

 1. Helps with Grief

Grief is one of the most complex human emotions to regulate. It comes upon us like a wave, irrepressible and overwhelming. Yet, because of the stigma behind crying, many people may try to repress their tears for fear of looking weak.
However, studies have found that repressive coping negatively affects your health. Repressive coping is denying any negative feelings that threaten your positive self-image. It can lead to physical ailments from a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Repression also exacerbates mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression.
On the other hand, crying in front of family and friends encourages deeper connections with your loved ones. It automatically triggers empathy in most people and will increase the support you receive from family and friends.

2. Improves Mood

Sobbing - or sucking in deep breaths of cool air, is thought to improve mood. This is because deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and the cool air helps regulate and lower the brain's temperature. It may take some time to feel the positive effects of crying, but an episode of tears will most likely make you feel better than you were.
The brain also releases oxytocin when you cry, which may leave you feeling pleasantly numb after the tears have stopped. Oxytocin also intensifies life's happiest moments. When you cry during a particularly happy or moving moment, oxytocin is still released, and your mood improves that much more.

3. Soothes

crying Soothes

When you cry, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which helps you to relax. In addition, crying automatically causes you to take deep belly breaths, which regulate blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. By activating the parasympathetic system, crying also takes you out of fight-or-flight and thus provides stress relief.

Babies cry whenever they feel uncomfortable, activating the rest-and-digest system to soothe themselves. They cry straight out of the womb, using tears to clear the fluid from the lungs, nose, and mouth.

One study analyzed the effects of controlled crying on babies' sleep quality. Parents allowed their babies to cry for a few minutes before going to soothe them. The study found that babies whose parents used controlled crying slept better and woke up fewer times during the night.

4. Detoxes

Crying is a form of detox. Reflex tears happen when you get something in your eye, and basal tears flush out infection and lubricate. For example, when you get dust or smoke in your eyes, these tears clear them out. Both reflex and basal tears contain about 98% water.
Emotional tears, however, contain stress hormones and natural painkillers alongside the water. They also contain mood-regulating manganese to help you relax in the wake of emotional turmoil. While more research is needed to determine the exact benefits of crying, they appear to provide both physical and emotional detox.

5. Relieves Pain

When you cry for a long time, the brain releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids. These naturally occurring opioids are more commonly known as endorphins, feel-good chemicals that combat emotional and physical pain. These brain chemicals also increase emotional pain tolerance after the tears have stopped.
The act of sobbing, where a person may rock back and forth as they try to soothe themselves, is also thought to decrease their responsiveness to inner stimuli and distract them from unpleasant external stimuli. The release of pain via tears will leave you feeling better in the long run, even though it may not feel that way while you're crying.

The Cultural Stigma Against Tears

The health benefits of crying include mood regulation, detoxification, and improved emotional stability. But still, most cultures frown upon tears, and people hide them out of embarrassment.
In particular, men are told that "real men don't cry" and that they should repress tears whenever they're emotional. Unfortunately, when people don't practice this crucial method for processing emotions, they lose touch with how they feel and may even become disconnected from more positive feelings.
So, the next time you feel compelled to cry, don't be afraid to let it out. You may be surprised at the empathy and understanding you receive from those around you, and the benefits speak for themselves. But if you're embarrassed to be seen crying in public, you can still cry in private to get a release without the blow to your self-image.
And if you’re dealing with pain, don’t forget your Kailo Pain Patch, either! Crying might help with pain, but the Kailo Patch is designed to relieve pain in seconds. A recent clinical study showed that Kailo is more effective than other prescription and over the counter medications, with no side effects!
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.


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