When you are feeling down, your body may be searching for a source of relief to release the bottled up emotions. While many people try to hide their tears to try not to cry at all for fear of looking weak, crying has numerous benefits for your overall mental health. Understanding these benefits can open up more people to crying without associating it with something negative, but rather as an aid to your mental health.
Humans produce three kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Each of these serves the purpose of helping to detox and cleanse your body. Reflect tears clean out debris from your eyes, such as smoke and dust, helping protect them. Continuous tears protect your eyes from infection by keeping them moist. Emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins that they flush from your body.
Many people associate crying with feeling sad and making them feel worse, but in reality, crying can help improve your mood - emotional tears release stress hormones. Your stress level lowers when you cry, which can help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system. You should feel better after a good cry once these hormones leave your body, leaving you feeling better than before.
When you cry, your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activates. Your PNS helps your body digest food and rest better. Any symptoms of stress, such as stomach aches and restlessness, can be relieved after a couple of minutes of merely crying. This will help you self-soothe and feel better.
If you have ever gone through the grieving process, you understand that it takes time to move through the various stages. Crying can help you through each step of grief as it aids in accepting losing a loved one. While crying does not work for everyone during this process, some find comfort in releasing emotions and helping them process their loss.
Whether you are experiencing physical or emotional pain, crying can help lessen the severity of this pain. Endorphins are released while you cry, helping numb the pain and give you a sense of overall calm. This process also plays a role in self-soothing as well as lessen the intensity of pain felt.
Crying is often associated with negative feelings, such as feeling sad, angry, lonely, and more. However, humans cry when they experience happiness, fear, stress, and other emotions. For these reasons, crying can help bring emotional equilibrium by helping your body recover from various strong, complex emotions.
Sometimes you may be suppressing painful emotions without realizing it. Crying can help you recognize that something is wrong, whether it be emotional or a physical situation you are in. Once you realize that something is going on, you can take the proper steps to identify precisely what that is. From there, you can cope with your emotions healthily to avoid further suppressing them.
Feeling down can cause you to isolate or simply not tell those around you that you are struggling. However, crying can notify those close to you that you need help. This begins when you are a baby, as crying is an attachment behavior that humans engage in to receive support from others. Crying for support doesn’t stop when you are an infant; it can continue into adulthood. When others can see you are struggling when you cry, you can grow your support circle for further friendship and assistance.
When you don’t cry for a long time or are not producing tears, your eyes can become dry. Dry eyes can lead to discomfort and an inability to fight infection. By crying, your eyes will be more lubricated to alleviate the discomfort and help keep your eyes free of infection.
If you find yourself crying emotional tears consistently over an extended period, it could allude to a deeper issue at hand. This could mean it is time to seek help from a professional to help your overall mental health and wellbeing. There is no shame in needing extra help sometimes, and crying can alert you that it is time to seek it out.
With many different connotations surrounding crying, most people tend to associate it with negative thoughts and feelings. However, crying has numerous health benefits that can positively affect your life. By learning these benefits, people may be more open to crying and not seeing it as a sign of weakness. In this way, mental health can be a more open conversation as others are alerted to your need for support. If you find yourself crying emotional tears frequently, it could be time to seek professional help. This way, you can begin the journey to healing sooner and start living your best life. Facilities like Northstar Transitions can help point you in the right direction to support your mental health. This is especially true if you have turned to unhealthy coping methods to deal with suppressed emotions or declining mental health. The NorthStar difference is clinical excellence, evidence-based therapeutic modalities, personalized treatment plans, and our location in the serene and majestic setting of Boulder, Colorado. Give our staff a call today at (303) 558-6400. We can help you find the healing you have been searching for.