How crying benefits you; expert offers tips
Crying heals and tears detox. Crying is never a sign of weakness, but actually a beautifully important function of human connection. Check out the multiple benefits of crying.
Crying is a healthy, normal, human function that gives you the capacity to reduce pain, keep your eyes healthy and create support networks. They also perform an important function of enlisting support when we need it most. Crying is an attachment behaviour, which creates compassion and empathy in others, so when you’re in emotional or physical pain, others can support you. It is never a sign of weakness, but actually a beautifully important function of human connection, self-soothing and health. Crying is a universal human experience that on a physiological level, is simply the process of releasing tears from a gland in the eyes called the lacrimal gland. Crying can often be stigmatised or repressed, but crying offers many benefits to the mind and body. (Also read: Things we need for our emotional health: Expert offers tips )
"Crying is often accompanied by visible changes in your facial expression, vocalisation and breathing pattern. You actually have different types of tears that perform different roles" says Anna, Popular Anxiety Therapist in her recent Instagram post. She further defines different types of tears and how crying can benefit you.
Types of tears:
- Basal tears- these are your basic tears that keep your eyes nice, clean and moist, they contain a fluid called lysozyme which has strong antimicrobial properties. They are the basic form of tears and they contain water, salt, oil and mucus.
- Reflex tears- these are tears that happen due to a reaction to irritants like when you’re cutting onions or getting something in your eyes.
- Emotional tears- these are tears triggered by emotions. These contain endorphins and oxytocin which ease the pain as well as activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Emotional tears not only have a calming and pain-relieving effect on the body, but they also contain stress hormones that naturally regulate the amount of cortisol in your body.
Benefits of crying:
1. Crying supports healthy nerves
Human tears contain nerve growth factor, which is a protein found in the lacrimal gland. The nerve growth factor, which is crucial for the growth and survival of neurons and the development of neural plasticity, is believed to play a role in enhancing mood during crying.
2. Crying has a soothing effect
Studies have found that crying may have a direct, self-soothing effect on individuals. Crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system and this allows you to down-regulate and relax your mind and body.
3. Creates compassion in others
The act of crying itself is more than an individual experience. Crying creates feelings of compassion and empathy from those around you. Crying is an attachment behaviour and studies have found that crying rallies support from those around you.
4. Crying relieves pain
Research has found that emotional tears release oxytocin and endorphins! These are your feel-good chemicals which ease physical and emotional pain & promote a sense of well-being.
5. Crying keeps your eyes clean
Crying is an important function to keep your eyes clean, tears contain a fluid called lysozyme, which has powerful antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria.
6. Crying improves vision
Every time you blink, basal tears are released and they play a crucial role in keeping your eyes moist and preventing the mucus membranes from drying out (nobody likes dry eyes!). Keeping your eyes nice and lubricated allows you to see clearly, when your eyes are dry, vision becomes blurred.
7. Crying relieves stress
You may have noticed that having a big cry can be extremely relieving. That's because when you cry in response to stress, your tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals, which researchers believe could be a system to reduce levels of these chemicals in your body, allowing you to in turn reduce stress.