Have a good cry

Seth Singleton

By Walter.singleton (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

It is embarrassing to admit but there are certain situations which make us feel like crying. Sometimes it may be something innocent like watching a sad or touching scene in a movie, sometimes it is after something tragic has happened, sometimes it is something as simple as feeling overwhelmed by life.

When it comes to the last one, society as a whole compels us to hold in those tears and suck it up or risk being seen as an insufferable cry-baby and a weakling. But sometimes a good cry is all you really need to feel better again.

It is embarrassing to admit but there are certain situations which make us feel like crying. Sometimes it may be something innocent like watching a sad or touching scene in a movie, sometimes it is after something tragic has happened, sometimes it is something as simple as feeling overwhelmed by life.
When it comes to the last one, society as a whole compels us to hold in those tears and suck it up or risk being seen as an insufferable cry-baby and a weakling. But sometimes a good cry is all you really need to feel better again.
Time for the evidence; first we have this article from psychologytoday.com titled “The Health Benefits of Tears”, written by Judith Orloff M.D. In this article the doctor goes into detail about the 3 different types of tears (yes there are different types) and how they are beneficial for us.

First there are reflex tears. These tears help clear out irritants and noxious particles like smoke and dust; in other words they are the ‘there-is-something-in-my-eye’ tears.

Second we have continuous tears and no it doesn’t mean that you just keep crying no matter what. These tears are produced continuously to keep our eyes lubricated; they contain a chemical called lysozyme which protects our eyes from infections and acts as an anti-bacterial.

Finally we have emotional tears. These are tears we shed when we have intense feelings of sadness or joy. Studies show that crying decreases our breathing and heart rate, making us feel calmer. Also it has been found that emotional tears contain stress hormones that get excreted from our bodies when we cry. So if you are feeling emotional and you cry you get rid of the hormones that cause stress and feel better after.

And now for the second piece of evidence, an article from psychcentral.com titled “7 Good Reasons To Cry Your Eyes Out” written by Therese J. Borchard. The first two points talk about how tears help us see and kill bacteria, but the ones I am going to be concentrating on are points 3 to 7.

These points concentrate on how emotional tears help us. Crying can help release toxins in the body which build up due to stress and anxiety; crying helps elevate our mood by getting rid of chemicals like manganese; crying can lower our stress levels; and crying can help us release our feelings and let them be felt by us as they should be, because feelings is what makes us stronger. They even talk about how crying can help build a community by bringing people together and making people feel closer to each other.

Now look, I get the fact that no one wants to be seen crying if they can help it, it can be embarrassing; however this is a social stigma which we need to work on getting rid of. Crying can actually help us become stronger individuals; we just need to keep an open mind. I’m not saying we should cry all the time over the smallest things, that is just going overboard but we should cry when we need to, we get to feel all the feelings that need to be felt, we get rid of toxins from our bodies and we feel much better afterwards. So the next time you feel overwhelmed go ahead and cry, its natural, it’s safe and it’s good for you. And you will definitely feel better afterwards (so long as you do not allow the embarrassment to take over your relief!).

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