When you are feeling depressed, it’s possible that your body is looking for a source of relief to release the feelings that have been trapped inside of it.
Weeping has been shown to have a number of positive effects on a person’s mental health, despite the fact that many people strive to hide their emotions and refrain from crying altogether out of fear of appearing fragile.
When more people are aware of the positive effects of crying, they will be less likely to associate it with something negative and more likely to view it as a means of improving their mental health.
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Why do we cry?
We shed tears for a variety of reasons in addition to emotional ones, a fact that, at first glance, may appear to be extremely evident. The following three categories of tears are produced by your body:
Vivian Shibayama, an optometrist with UCLA Health, explains that reflex tears are produced whenever something is in the eye because they are a natural response. She explains that they are manufactured to remove anything that may irritate the eyes, such as smoke or particles, and that this is their primary function. They are primarily composed of water and may harbor antibodies that fend off infection.
Shibayama identifies these tears as your “baseline” tears. He calls them “basal tears.” She notes that they are composed of mucous, oil, and water in her explanation. Your eyes will remain healthy, protected, and lubricated thanks to them.
Emotional tears are the type of tears that the majority of people think of when they think of sobbing. According to Shibayama, these tears are caused by strong feelings. She claims that these tears are pretty similar to reflex tears and that their primary component is water. And, you know, when you get rid of them, it just feels so damn nice.
10 Health Benefits of Crying
Overall, releasing all of your pent-up emotions and allowing them to flow freely has a number of positive effects on both your physical and mental health.
1. The bad stuff stays out of it
Shibayama explains that your eyes’ reflex tears are biologically engineered to protect them from potential threats to their health. When you cry, you are actively working to keep out the gunk that might make your eyes feel uncomfortable or even harm them. This gunk could cause your eyes to feel uncomfortable or even cause them to be injured.
2. It helps you shed stress in a literal sense
If you’re feeling extremely harried, it may make you want to lose a few pounds, and you should absolutely give in to that urge. Previous studies have demonstrated that shedding emotional tears can lower your levels of stress, leaving you with a positive feeling thereafter.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, emotional tears contain more stress chemicals than other tears. This indicates that releasing your emotions by crying is a very literal way to release your tension.
3. Dry Eye Is Prevented With It
According to the National Eye Institute, dry eye is a health ailment that occurs when your body doesn’t create enough tears or makes tears that aren’t of the appropriate sort (NEI). According to Shibayama, your body can actively strive to avoid dry eye by producing tears called basal tears. She describes basal tears as “a natural shield” for the eyeballs they protect.
4. Boosts Your Mood
You are probably aware that crying makes you feel better in the long run. There is a logic to the decision. According to Dr. Saltz, “crying is an expression of tremendous emotion,” and he adds that “frequently the outward manifestation of an intense feeling as opposed to bottling it up inside does give relief.” Result? Better mood.
5. The gross stuff is washed away
In particular, Shibayama notes that reflex tears are beneficial for this purpose. She adds that reflex tears are our natural eye wash and that they wipe out irritants in the eye. Therefore, if you chance to obtain dust or an allergy in your eyeball, the allergen or dust will be washed away by your tears.
6. Taking part in it is cathartic
Some studies have shown that releasing your emotions through crying can help calm a strong emotional state and stop that energy from developing into mental health issues later on. In addition to that, it’s something you can accomplish all by yourself, so give yourself a pat on the back.
7. Bringing you closer to others
In the vast majority of instances, crying beside another person will strengthen the connection between you two. They become aware that you are experiencing feelings of sadness and make an effort to cheer you up; voila! You now share a connection with one another.
According to Smith, “especially in cases of shared grieving or in the face of a shared disaster or another horrible event, communal crying can be an important way of bonding with others and establishing our shared humanity.” Communal crying can be an important way of bonding with others and establishing that we are all human.
8. Pain is dulled by it
Crying can trigger the production of endogenous opioids and other pain-relieving chemicals in the body, such as oxytocin. These hormones are meant to help you feel better when you are in pain. According to Dr. Saltz, this is also the reason why you could feel numb after having a good weep.
9. Grief Coping With It
According to Dr. Saltz, crying is a natural reaction to grief that also has the potential to be therapeutic. According to Dr. Saltz, “crying is the expression of sadness,” and “going through the motions of grieving allows you to absorb your emotions more completely.” It may even help your grief to lessen over time as time passes if you do this.
10. Restores emotional balance
In most cases, you have what could be considered a baseline emotional state before you weep, and then the act of shedding emotional tears can completely throw off your equilibrium. However, according to Smith, sobbing can also assist you in returning to your normal level of emotional equilibrium.
“Sometimes individuals are so wound up–it may be in rage or irritation that they cry,” he says. “When people are this stirred up, it may be because they are crying.” But after it’s over, you’re back to your regular self.
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