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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

It Feels So Good to Cry, But Why?



We can’t help it. Sometimes we burst into tears. We are only human. Although many animals shed tears, emotional tears — tears produced as the result of feeling — are a uniquely human phenomenon. We weep with sadness, surprise, fear, or anger. We also sometimes tear up watching a happy movie, seeing the bride and groom’s first kiss at the altar, or listening to a perfectly sung aria. Some people even cry when they laugh! Crying is a natural human response that helps us deal with emotional situations of all shades.

 

We actually cry three different types of tears, according to Healthline.com. Reflex tears that clear irritants like dust or onion fumes from our eyes; continuous tears that keep our eyes lubricated and help ward off infection; and emotional tears that are brought on by grief or happiness. And astonishingly, we each produce 15 to 30 gallons of tears every year.

 

Not only does emotional crying help us cope, but the act of sobbing also triggers a burst of health benefits. Tears can:

 

Detoxify

Many researchers believe that crying emotional tears flushes out stress hormones and other toxins.

 

Soothe

Shedding tears activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us feel calmer and more balanced.

 

Ease Pain

Prolonged crying releases endorphins (natural painkillers) and oxytocin. Both can ease physical and emotional pain and instill calmness.

 

Elevate Mood

Sobbing, in particular, involves gulping in cool air, which cools the brain which improves our mood.

 

Find Support

Shedding tears can let those around us know that we need comforting and helps build our social support network.

 

Process Grief

Crying is essential during grief. It helps us process and accept the loss of a loved one.

 

Tears have fascinated people since classic times and because of the intense emotions that created them, tears have often been thought to contain magical powers. Some cultures have used them in religious rites and in spells to attract happiness or ward off sadness.

 


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2 Comments


mindykittay
mindykittay
6 days ago

After I cry I am spent - I have to go take a nap. Probably a good thing.

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Unknown member
Apr 18

I cry all the time. I think it's good for your psyche to do it. Bonnie McCune

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