Go Ahead and Have a Good Cry: The Benefits of Crying to Your Mental Health

Heartbreaks

When was the last time you cried? Was it during a sad movie? Or a heart wrenching breakup over your first love?

Crying may seem a strange response to your emotional turmoil but it is an integral part of our life. It’s okay to feel vulnerable after you shed some tears.

So why do we cry?

Crying is part of our human emotional package – love it, or hate it. Of course, women are definitely better at it than men, with the number of cries per year estimated at 50 and 10, respectively. We probably cry because we are emotional beings who need to express feelings.

Is crying good for your health?

Yes, to some extent. According to psychologists, crying is actually a sign of resilience and mental strength. A study published in 1983 by the American Psychological Association showed that most people feel more relieved after crying that was due to stress from interpersonal relationships and anxious or sad thoughts. “Crying it out” can be a great way to channel your emotions and deal with them head on. If you cry a lot, it often means that you know how to relieve stress.

How is Crying Good for you?

1. It Relieves Stress

Crying is thought to help reduce stress, which can have a damaging effect on our health and has been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and obesity.

According to the Minnesota study, crying can help wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel much better after a good cry.

2. Crying has been shown to cause release of endorphins

Emotional tears have a different make-up including enkephalin, an endorphin and natural painkiller.

“Emotional tears contain higher concentrations of proteins, manganese, and the hormone prolactin which is produced during stress-induced danger or arousal,” says Dr Carrie Lane of the University of Texas.

3. Helps you become closer to others.

Once you really break down that egotistical wall and show your emotions to others, it can inspire your friends and family to do the same. Since you feel comfortable showing your feelings, they might be too.

NOTE: Excessive crying can be an indicator of anxiety and depression. Although, do not feel guilty for crying over a romantic marriage proposal you saw on Facebook earlier. It’s natural and a resilient response!