Article | It’s Healthy to Cry | Select Health
Do you frequently hold back tears? Well it might be time to stop that habit. The next time you find yourself crying into a half gallon of ice cream, don’t be ashamed: here are the reasons why it’s healthy to cry!
Crying gets a bad rap because it usually only happens when something terrible is happening. I mean, come on, no one congratulates you for crying. But maybe they should: there’s surprising evidence that suggests crying is actually healthy for both your body and mind. Learn the benefits of crying so you can more readily give yourself permission to harness this amazing power of the human body.
Related: Cultivate Some Happiness
You’ll feel better afterwards
There’s actually hard science to back up why you feel better after crying. When you cry for emotional reasons, those tears contain stress hormones that help relieve the body of stress-induced chemicals. You’re quite literally shedding stress.
You’ll be calmer
There’s an almost zen-like state that happens after crying, and it’s because your breathing stabilizes and your heart rate decreases. Crying is cathartic and physically calming.
It’s a form of communication
When you were a baby, crying literally saved your life because it indicated that you needed to be fed or cared for. Now that you’re an adult, crying indicates to others that you need to be emotionally fed and cared for. Sometimes your body knows what you need even before you do, so let your tears indicate to others when you need extra love.
Related: 4 Healthy Reasons to Hug More
Your eyes will be healthier
Tears help keep your eyes lubricated and free from debris so your vision is clearer.
You’ll be protected from bacteria
Tears aren’t just water; they contain something called lysozyme, which can kill 90-95% of all bacteria in five to ten minutes.
And there are other benefits, too; sometimes crying is a good indication that there’s something seriously wrong. It’s physical validation for psychological pain. As a culture, we tend to view crying as weakness, but crying is purposeful and healthy. The sooner we accept that tears are our bodies’ way of protecting, soothing, and healing, the sooner we’ll be able to be more authentic and accepting of how we process the world around us.
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