Crying is a natural response animals have to a range of emotions. Some of these emotions include sadness, grief, joy, and frustration. But why do we cry? Does crying have any health benefits?
It is very common to cry. In the United States alone, women cry an average of 3.5 times per month. While men cry an average of 1.9 times a month.
Humans produce three types of tears:
- Basal: This is a protein-rich antibacterial liquid, keeps your eyes moist every time a person blinks.
- Reflex: These are tears that are created because of irritants like wind, smoke, or onions. These tears are released to flush out irritants and to protect the eye.
- Emotional: Humans cry in response to a many different emotions. Mainly sadness. These tears contain a higher level of stress hormones.
Many people try to hide there tears since it feels like a sign of weakness. But when they do so it can make the way you feel even worse.
1. Has a soothing effect
Self-soothing is when people: Regulate their own emotions. Calm themselves reduce their own distress. A 2014 study found that crying has a direct, self-soothing effect on people. The study explained that crying activates a parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps people relax.
2. Gets support from others
As well as helping people self-soothe. Crying can help people give you support from others. But many people don’t want others to see them cry. A 2016 study explains, crying is primarily an attachment behavior, as it rallies support from the people around us. This is known as an interpersonal or social benefit.
3. Helps to relieve pain
Reasurch has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These chemicals make people feel good and it can also ease both physical and emotional pain. So, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.
4. Enhances mood
Crying also can help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals
5. Releases toxins and relieves stress
When humans cry it is in response to stress, their tears contain a bunch of stress hormones and other chemicals. Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress. More research is needed into this area, however, to confirm this.
6. Aids sleep
A study in 2015 found that crying can help babies sleep better. Whether crying has the same sleep-enhancing effect on adults is very likely. The calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.
7. Fights bacteria
Crying also helps kill bacteria and keep your eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme. A 2011 study found that lysozyme had very powerful antimicrobial properties that could even help reduce the risks of bioterror agents, such as anthrax.
8. Improves vision
Basal tears, help to keep the eyes moist and prevent the mucous membranes from drying out. When the mucous membranes dry out it becomes very difficult and painful to see.
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Have a great day! Make sure to express your feelings to someone. It can really make you feel better.