Crying is a natural response humans have to a range of emotions, including sadness, grief, joy, and frustration. It is said that crying can benefit both your body and your mind, and these benefits begin at birth with a baby’s first cry. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of crying.
Amazing Benefits of Crying
1. Help the body release stress
Psycho-emotional tears have no physical benefits for the health of your eyes. However, emotional tears may flush out stress hormones and other toxins from the body. Some research has found higher concentrations of certain proteins in emotional tears than in basal or reflex tears. Scientists say more research is needed for conclusive evidence, but some hypothesize that emotional tears purge the body of these stress-related substances.
2. Improve your mood
Have you ever noticed that you generally feel much better after you’ve had a good cry? There’s a reason for that. When we cry we are actually relieving our body of countless toxins and hormones that contribute to elevated stress levels. This in turn can help individuals to sleep better, strengthen their immune systems, and avoid gaining weight. By lowering our stress levels, crying may also help lower our blood pressure.
3. Help us reflect and learn about ourselves
Crying is a uniquely human experience. Only human beings shed tears when faced with emotional distress. When we cry, we let our guard down temporarily, allowing us to relieve some of the stress that we face. During the process, we can think, reflect and focus our attention inwards. Having control over our emotions does not mean stopping ourselves from feeling but rather about regulating these emotions. Crying helps us experience our emotions, recognize why we are feeling them, and move forward with a better understanding of ourselves.
4. Detoxify the body
One of the health benefits of crying is to detoxify the body. Reflex tears clear debris, like smoke and dust, from your eyes. Continuous tears lubricate your eyes and help protect them from infection. Emotional tears may have many health benefits. Whereas continuous tears contain 98 percent water, emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins. Researchers have theorized that crying flushes these things out of your system, though more research is needed in this area.
5. Help protect your eyes
Every day we expose ourselves to thousands, if not millions, of particles of dust, dirt, and other debris. These particles are often too small for us to see, however, they can and do make their way into our eyes. This can cause irritation and potentially harm our eyes and in turn, our vision. When we cry, our eyes are actually cleansing themselves which can help to remove these irritants and protect our eyes. In addition, tears contain lysozyme, a powerful anti-bacterial chemical that helps fight infection.
6. Dull pain
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.
7. Rally support
If you’re feeling blue, crying is a way to let those around you know you are in need of support. This is known as an interpersonal benefit. From the time you were a baby, crying has been an attachment behavior. Its function is in many ways to obtain comfort and care from others. In other words, it helps to build up your social support network when the going gets tough.
8. Help baby sleep
Crying may also help babies sleep better at night. In a small study on infant sleep, 43 participants used graduated extinction, also known as controlled crying, to put their babies down to bed. With controlled crying, babies were left to cry for a set number of minutes before intervention from their parents. The crying increased both the sleep length and reduced the number of times the infants woke during the night. A year later, the crying did not appear to increase stress in the infants or negatively impact the parent-child bond.
In conclusion, these are some great benefits of crying that you need to know.