14 Best Benefits Of Crying
Expressing emotions is one of the most important aspects of us. We, humans, have evolved to express our emotions in a response to what is happening around us. what do we do when we are facing a very hard problem in our math exam? Probably, we get stressed and try to focus and solve it.
What do we do when somebody says something against our will and we try to respond? Well, you have to respond rationally. You have to avoid any emotions and reply thoughtfully, right? all these tasks are dependent on our emotions and the state of our mind. That's why humans cannot survive without emotions.
One of the most important emotions which everybody has definitely experienced thousands of times is sadness. We might fail an exam. Or, our relationship with our boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t seem to be working and we decide to terminate it immediately. Or, even worth, we lose one of our dearest friends or family member. The only thing that we can do is sit there and try to relax. However, sadness doesn’t go away! What should we do about it?
What should we do we even being sad doesn’t make us feel better? Yes, you might know the answer. You will start crying. As soon as tears come down from your eyes, you have got a way to release the anger built inside you. Yes, sometimes, crying is the only way that we can do in order to get rid of something very troubling to us. With crying, we can get back to our normal life and forget about all the miseries we have had in the past.
In this article, we are going to talk about the benefits of crying. You might be surprised to know how the act of crying can improve the quality of your life. Do you know why? Because sadness, miseries, losing of our loved ones, failing, etc. happen always all the time. Therefore, finding a solution against them would definitely free you from their consequences. First, we will talk about the act of crying and then explain what are the most important benefits of crying. Let's get started with a simple definition of crying.
Crying, Why Does It Happen?
You might think of crying as something negative in your life. Probably, you would say that crying happens in our darkest hours when we are not able to think of doing anything else. Well, it is true to some extent but it is not the whole picture! In order to understand what the benefits of crying are, we have to start with the science of crying. A very vital question would be “why does crying happen?”. In order to answer this question, you have to get back to the science of crying. Yes, you have heard it right! To know about this,
I am referring to a nice and short video from the PBS channel. They are famous for making scientific issues easy and understandable for ordinary people like you and me. first of all, you should know that crying is one of the most obvious feelings of humans. For example, sometimes, you cannot tell whether people are confused, stressed, feared, or terrified by something because it is not obvious from their appearance. However, with crying, you are definitely sure that something has happened which has made a person feel very sad.
Did you know that humans are the only animals that can cry? It is very unique to humans. But, here is a crucial question for you. Why do we cry? Buckle up because I am going to provide an answer for you. This is very important to know that there are three types of crying. Crying when we are sad is just one type of tear. What about the other types? In fact, there are three types of crying and we are going to explain them here very briefly.
Different Types Of Tears Or Crying
Three types of crying include emotional or psychic tears, reflex tears, and basal tears. The first one derives from sadness, the second from irritants, and the third is a way of protection. Let's get deeper into this classification. Against, you will be surprised to know that each type of tear has a different recipe.
All three types of tears have salt, proteins, and antibacterial enzymes. However, there are some differences. For example, emotional tears have a high amount of proteins including stress hormones and painkillers. What does create tears? All three types of tears are created by the lacrimal gland. However, the production of emotional tears is controlled by the hypothalamus which is, guess what regulates emotional responses.
We are getting close to the answer! We cry because we are trying to communicate with other humans more easily. In fact, when you are sad, you want other people to know this so that they can regulate their behaviours accordingly. In addition to all those moves that your face muscles can do like blushing, laughing, eye-rolling, etc., tears are another way of expressing our feelings. So, the first reason for humans, as adults, is communicating with others.
Well, the second reason is that, sometimes, humans don’t like to talk. They want other people to understand their emotions without you trying to explain them. Or, even simpler, babies cry when they want food or water because they cannot talk. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective since those who can get enough food and water are more likely to survive in the future.
Interestingly, we have also happy tears. It might have happened to you when something very nice is happening to you and you don’t know what to do. So, you, unintentionally, start crying. Scientists really don’t know what is the reason behind it. However, happy tears are always expressed by millions of people on a daily basis.
So, there are many reasons why we cry. You can get there are many benefits in doing it. From now on, I am going to explain all the advantages of crying. Here are the most important reasons for people to cry:
1. Detoxifying The Body
One of the widely accepted theories suggests that crying helps you clear and detoxify your body. Why is it that case? It is because all three types of tears have some chemicals in them which are helpful to make your body healthier. As you know already, there are three types of tears including reflex, continuous, and emotional tears. All these tears can clear your body and make it healthier. For example, emotional tears have stress hormones and other toxins. So, basically, when you cry because something upsets you, you will start becoming more relaxed.
2. Helping Self-Soother
in order to understand this benefit, we have to become a bit specific. There are certain phrases you should know before understanding this section. The first one is fight or flight response. What is a fight or flight response? Let me give you an example to understand this situation. Imagine that you are walking on a not-so-busy street. It is 12 PM and suddenly you see a man in a dark t-shirt and dark pants are approaching you. probably, you will think that he is trying to steal from you.
So, you start running away. Or, if you are a laidback kind of person and you think he is not a danger for you. So, we call this situation fight or flight. So, how is it related to crying? Fight or flight response is deeply connected to the sympathetic nervous system which is basically a personal choice. When you see that dark man, you might decide to fight or flight! This is your personal choice which means it is not autonomous.
Now let's talk about crying! Crying is not a fight or flight response. Also, crying is not related to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). In contrast to the sympathetic nervous system, we can parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). In contrast to SNS, PSNS happens unconsciously.
I mean you don’t when it is happening. Again, how are these related to crying? Well, here is the answer. Crying is related to PSNS. It means that it happens without you trying to do so. It basically means that crying will help your body engage in actions related to the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to a healthier lifestyle.
3. Dulling Pain
Crying is well-connected to the release of oxytocin and endogenous opioids or endorphins as they are sometimes called. Oxytocin and endorphins are very important for physical and especially mental health. In general, when you are experiencing some sort of pain, oxytocin and endorphins help you get back to your normal situation faster. The pain could be physical, emotional, or a combination of both. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more advantages associated with oxytocin and endorphins. Here is a shortlist:
3.1 The Advantages Of Oxytocin
Let's talk about the most important role of oxytocin. As a matter of fact, oxytocin establishes and maintains relationships. So, with more oxytocin, you are more likely to be a loyal person in the relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Also, oxytocin is responsible for keeping the body's internal functions in balance. There are many other important social behaviours such as trust, empathy, positive memories, processing of bonding cues, and positive communication that are influenced greatly by the level of oxytocin in your blood. Sometimes, oxytocin is named a happy hormone because it makes us feel better.
3.2 The Advantages Of Endorphins
Now, what about endorphins? How are they going to influence our life? Similar to oxytocin, there are many positive functions associated with the production of endorphins in your body. For example, studies have shown that endorphins are deeply connected to alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, boosting your self-esteem, reducing your weight, and finally helping your deal with pain during childbirth. So, my suggestion is that if you feel that you want to cry! Just go for it! the benefits of crying are much more than not crying.
4. Improving Mood
have you ever noticed that when you are crying, you tend to breathe faster? Don’t you think there is a reason behind it? there is indeed a very important function to this. Let me explain it to you. When you cry, you are suffering from a painful or sad, or dangerous situation, right? So, your mood goes down due to the production of stress hormones into your body. Crying helps you get rid of this situation by improving your mood. When you cry and breath faster, you are going to adsorb more oxygen and also decrease the temperature of your body. So, in this way, your body becomes cooler and more relaxed.
5. Rallies Support
There is an interpersonal benefit deeply associated with crying. You use crying to let people you need their help and support. Maybe, you don’t usually ask for help verbally. However, if you cry, people will understand immediately that you are experiencing difficulty and then they come for help. So, don’t think about being judged by other people. Just go for it and let people know your feelings.
6. Helping You Recover From Grief
Awful events happen to everyone. Perhaps, when you lose in a game or one of your friends dies because of cancer, you will think of crying as a way of expressing your sadness. However, there is more to that. Crying will help you recover from grief. It lets you forget about all the bad things that have happened to you in the past. Can you imagine how terrible would it be, if you couldn’t forget about miseries and tragic moments of your life? With crying, you will forget them gradually.
7. Restoring Your Emotional Balance
Sometimes, crying happens in a response to very extreme emotions regardless of their type. Whether you are extremely happy, scared, sad, or terrified, crying can cool them down. Imagine that a lion is chasing you and you are scared to death. Definitely, after getting rescued, your first reaction will be a long crying. So, crying helps you get yourself out of that scary situation and act like a normal person again.
8. Helping Baby Breathe
What does it mean when babies cry? You might think that it means they are hungry or thirsty or getting annoyed by something around them. However, scientists have shown that it is not always the case. In fact, as soon as a baby is born, he/she start crying because it helps him/her adapt to life in the outside world. Before this, babies used to get their oxygen inside the womb through the umbilical cord. That's very important, isn't it?
9. Helping Babies Sleep
This is another babies-related advantage of crying. This result has come from a study that suggests that if babies cry when they want to go to bed, they are less likely to get up during the night. Also, they will experience longer hours of sleep too. So, mothers and fathers are recommended to let their children cry for a few minutes before going to bed. In this way, babies experience a more relaxed sleeping time.
In this article, I tried to explain that crying, in contrast to what we usually think, is something good and positive. However, there are some situations which you should take them seriously. For example, if you cry a lot, it might be a symptom of depression or other conditions. So, if you have feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, irritability, frustration, or if your appetite has been changed or have lost or gained weight, you should take crying seriously. Lack of energy, having difficulty in going to sleep, having unexplained aches or pains, and thinking of committing suicide are other symptoms.
10. It Is The Fastest Way To Move On
We said that people cry to forget about the past and be happy again. There are other ways for people to get back from trauma. For example, some people prefer to stay at home and do nothing except for thinking about the past. Or, some others might enjoy the company of other people because when they talk, they feel much better. However, the fastest way is definitely crying. I know, crying seems very intense and heartbreaking but if you want your life to get back to normal again, you have no choice but to cry out loud.
11. It Brings People Closer Together
This is also another interesting benefit of crying. Sometimes, people fall in love with someone while he/she has been crying in the past. Imagine a scenario that you see an alone girl in the bar and you are approaching her to say hello. Then, you two start talking to each other and share your difficulties in your life. It is always possible that the girl starts opening her heart for you and talking about her recent breakup while she is crying badly.
Suddenly, you will feel a wave of affection for her. So, this could be the starting point of a relationship. You never guess what the future holds for you. Seeing someone crying and feeling sorry for him/her are moments when there is a chance that you decide to get closer to them.
12. Helping Your Body Clear Out Your Nasal Passage
The nasal passages in people's noses are responsible for avoiding any unknown object getting into your body. That's why your nasal passages are always dirty filled with dirt, dust, etc. Interestingly, crying is one of the ways in which you can get rid of all these things getting stuck in your nose.
13. Helps Your Body Lower Your Blood Pressure
We said that crying helps your body lowers the stress hormones. Well, guess what! Stress hormones are connected to your blood pressure. The less the level of your stress hormones are in your body, the lower blood pressure you will get. It specifically works for people who are older than 40 years old.
14. Avoiding The Consequences Of Holding Back Your Feelings
Some people, especially men, believe that crying is for babies and adults should not cry under any circumstances in order to keep their dignity. However, it is not right to hide your emotions and try to suppress them. If you do that, you will be OK temporally. However, in a long run, you will hurt yourself a lot by just being silent about your feelings.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that if you are an introverted person, you have to change yourself. No, just try to be honest with yourself and the people around you. If you are sad or depressed, just let them know so that your crying wouldn’t be a big surprise for them.
Also, if you hold your emotions, especially when you are supposed to cry or be very upset about something might be interpreted not nicely by people around you. For example, if your brother dies and you act like it is nothing, it will have a bad effect on your training. Or, when you hear amazing news and want to cry and stop yourself, you are not really enjoying the moment.
You have to be able to break the paradigms if they are wrong. So, don’t listen to people who say “crying is not suitable for men” or sentences like this. Crying has benefits beyond everybody's imagination. So, why not do it from time to time in order to get rid of all the pains and miseries around us? What do you think of crying? Which type(s) have you experienced? And, are you considering crying as something good or bad now?
We often think that if somebody cries, it will be definitely the end of the world for him/her. We also usually take crying as something sad, depressing, etc. However, we learned that this is not the case. In this article, we briefly explained how many types of tears are there. FYI, there are three types.
Then, we talked about the reasons that people cry. And, finally, we counted all the good things about crying in different cultures. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do you like to know more? Don’t forget to join us.
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