“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” – William Shakespeare
“Don’t cry. Don’t show you’re weak.” Or “Big boys and big girls don’t cry.” I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before. But, is this really so?
When emotions overtake you, crying comes naturally and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Unfortunately, these popular sayings make us feel ashamed of our tears. So, we either suppress our feelings of anger, disappointment, or sadness or we cry when there’s no one around us.
What we fail to realize is that sometimes a good cry can cure what words and a good laugh can’t. We fail to realize that crying is not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign that you’ve been strong and putting up with bad things for too long.
“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
I couldn’t agree more. Crying is our reaction to sorrow, anger, and injustice. Our tears show that we have emotions. That we suffer. That we are humans.
There’s one important thing I’d like to mention, though. There’s a huge difference between shedding a few tears from time to time and crying frequently and uncontrollably or without any apparent reason. The latter can be an indicator of depression and it’s a situation where one must seek medical help.
You may find it surprising but tears can be beneficial for both your emotional and physical health. They can make you feel better even if your circumstances haven’t changed a bit. This is so because your tears make your unpleasant feelings become less strong, such as when you experience stress, anger, sadness, and pain.
Tears can purify your pent-up feelings that have created pressure inside you. They can heal your wounds. They can be the water to your growth.
I remember the last time I cried over a breakup with a guy who didn’t deserve my tears. But, I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t hold back my tears, so I let them fall. And if you’re wondering whether they made my pain go away, I have to tell you – NO. The pain was still there but it was less intense.
Crying can greatly benefit your physical health as well.
A great number of scientists who have studied crying and tears have found that tears have a positive effect on our physical health.
First of all, tears are beneficial to the health of your eyes. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that there are 3 types of tears: reflex tears, continuous tears, and emotional tears. Reflex tears clear dust and smoke from your eyes. Continuous tears protect your eyes from infection and the emotional ones contain stress hormones and toxins.
Besides removing toxins from your body, fighting bacteria, and improving vision, crying also helps to decrease blood pressure. And I’m sure you know how relieved you feel after having a good cry. So, yes, crying also relieves stress and has a soothing effect as it helps you regulate your emotions and calm yourself in distress.
In reference to this, one scientific study has shown that crying activates endorphins, also known as the feel – good chemicals. These chemicals alleviate both emotional and physical pain and make you feel calm.
The study has also shown that crying has a social benefit for you because it promotes empathy, protective responses from other people, social bonding, and it lowers inter – personal aggression.
The thing is that when you cry you show your vulnerability to others. And those who really care about you will never leave you to cope with your pain or whatever it is that you’re going through alone. When the people you hold dear empathize with you, the connection that exists between you becomes stronger.
In addition, crying has a cathartic effect on you. This means that it helps you diminish negative feelings and tension. It also enables you to release the excessive emotional energy which, unless it’s properly released, it may turn into different psychological and physical health problems. And most importantly, crying helps you recover from grief.
So, the next time you feel the need to cry, don’t hold back your tears – let them fall instead. Let them release the stress that has built up in your body. Let them alleviate your pain and heal your heart.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.