When you’re feeling depressed, your body may be looking for a way to release the bottled-up emotions. While many people try to hide their emotions or avoid weeping altogether for fear of appearing weak, crying offers various mental health advantages. Understanding these advantages may encourage more individuals to cry without identifying it with something negative, rather as a means of improving mental health.
Researchers have found that crying can benefit both your body and your mind, and these benefits begin at birth with a baby’s first cry.
Has a soothing effect
Self-soothing is when people:
- regulate their own emotions
- calm themselves
- reduce their own distress
A 2014 study found that crying may have a direct, self-soothing effect on people. The study explained how crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps people relax.
CRYING HELPS DETOX THE BODY
Humans produce three kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Each of these serves the purpose of helping to detox and cleanse your body. Reflecting tears clean out debris from your eyes, such as smoke and dust, helping protect them. Continuous tears protect your eyes from infection by keeping them moist. Emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins that they flush from your body.
Lift up your mood
Crying not only reduces stress and discomfort, but it also improves your attitude. This is beneficial to your mental wellness. When you cry, you take a breath of oxygen. This aids in body regulation and lowers the warmth of your brain.
Many people associate crying with feeling sad and making them feel worse, but in reality, crying can help improve your mood – emotional tears release stress hormones. Your stress level lowers when you cry, which can help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system. You should feel better after a good cry once these hormones leave your body, leaving you feeling better than before.
Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, your body may go into somewhat of a numb stage. Oxytocin can give you a sense of calm or well-being. It’s another example of how crying is a self-soothing action.
Helps you recover from grief
Grieving is a process. It involves periods of sorrow, numbness, guilt, and anger. Crying is particularly important during periods of grieving. It may even help you process and accept the loss of a loved one.
Everyone goes through the grieving process in different ways. If you find that your crying is extreme or starting to interfere with your everyday life, it might be a good idea to check in with your doctor.
Crying builds bonding and support
Crying has interpersonal benefits. When you sob, it signals to the people around you that you need help and support. Being with the right people will increase your sense of connection. You don’t just sob in front of random strangers. You sob when you are in the comfort of the people you are close to. The people around you will provide the comfort and care that you seek.
If you feel sad or happy and you want to cry, go ahead and let it out. Allow yourself to experience all these feelings. Crying may be therapeutic for you. But, if crying is causing more problems than healing, it is time to seek professional help.
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