Many men may not admit that they cry. Society can be very harsh when men show their vulnerable emotions, but crying is actually very therapeutic. It can release a lot of tension, pent-up emotions, and can be triggered by a huge variety of events.
But, why do we cry, anyway? What is its purpose? What are the ways crying can help you and others?
This article will highlight all of the ways crying can benefit both your mind and body. From your first cry, you were helping yourself become a stronger person.
There are three different types of tears: reflex, emotional, and continuous.
Each plays a different part in the health and maintenance of your body and mind. Reflex tears are used to flush smoke and dust from your eyes. These protect the eyes and help you to keep healthy eyes for a longer time. In addition, tears have a substance called lysozyme, which provides benefits antibacterial and antiviral properties and adds glucose to the surface of your eye and eyelid. This glucose feeds the cells of your eyes and eyelids so they are better protected.
Emotional tears are filled with stress hormones and many other toxins that may be in your body. Crying, as thought by researchers, may remove these negative components from your mind and body. This may explain why some people intentionally choose a sad movie or memory. They may need to cry out the stress that is building within them. Continuous tears, unlike their emotional counterpart, are made of 98 percent water.
Like rocking or biting your fingernails, crying is an excellent way to self-soothe. When you are very upset, you may cry to reach a more relaxed state. Researchers have noted that crying triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which is responsible for relaxing your body and aiding your digestive system. But, these relaxing effects do not happen immediately, it can take a few minutes for these effects to kick in. So, cry until you feel better. It’s good for you.
#3 LESS PAIN
When you cry for extended periods, your body releases endorphins such as oxytocin and other endogenous opioids. These chemicals can reduce emotional and physical pain which is excellent for your health. After these endorphins are released, your body may go into a semi-numb state, which is why you may feel so calm after a good cry.
#4 BETTER MOOD
Crying can improve your mood, especially if you are sobbing. While you may have an intense headache after crying so hard, sobbing actually lowers the temperature of your brain. As you sob, you take in very quick intakes of cool air which cools your brain. When the temperature of your brain is lower, you may feel an increase in mood.
#5 SUPPORT FROM OTHERS
Crying signals to others that you are in need of help. Even your toughest friends may feel some sympathy if you are crying, though they may express it in a “manly” way. Crying is your way to get care and comfort from other people, so you can tap into a support network.
#6 HELPFUL WHEN EXPERIENCING GRIEF
As you know, grief is a long process. It involves a wide variety of reactions and the loss of a loved one only becomes more acceptable with time. There can be times of numbness, sorrow, anger, and guilt. Eventually, for many people, these will smooth into acceptance. While losing someone you loved will never go away, each day that passes gives you more time to come to terms with their leaving. Crying is crucial in the grieving process. Not only can it give relief from the intense emotions that are inherent with grief, but it may help you process the loss, so you can reach a state of acceptance.
While the grieving process is different for each person, you may want to talk with your physician if you are crying intensely or you are unable to participate in your everyday activities due to grief. Your physician or a mental health specialist may be able to help you with this process.
#7 AIDS EMOTIONAL BALANCE
Crying isn’t only tied to sadness or grief, it also occurs when you are very happy, stressed, or frightened. Researchers have conducted many studies looking at the reasons for crying and those from Yale University believe it may be a way to balance your emotions. When you are struck by an extreme emotion like intense happiness, fear, stress, or sadness, your body must find a way to get back its regular state.
#8 LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
To lower your chance of stroke, dementia, and heart failure — cry. Crying is related to lower levels of blood pressure which can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. Studies have shown that crying led to a lower pulse rate and blood pressure after people cried and vented during therapy sessions. So, if you would like to become healthier, cry when you feel like it. Letting some tears fall can boost your longevity.
#9 REDUCED LEVELS OF MANGANESE
Manganese is a mineral within the body that can have a negative effect on mood when levels are higher than normal. Manganese is found in higher amounts in tears rather than the blood, so it is more easily measured through a non-invasive testing process. When levels of manganese are higher than usual, you may experience irritability, aggression, and anxiety. To get to a better place and interact with others and yourself on a healthier level, let that manganese out.
#10 JUST 1.3 TIMES EVERY MONTH
Researchers have studied the frequency of crying and found that women cry about 5.3 times each month. In contrast, men cry just 1.3 times. Some of this may be due to the fact that testosterone lowers the ability to cry. Another factor that may reduce men’s amount of crying is the different anatomy of their tear ducts. But, the main factor is society. The stoic male trope inhibits crying and removes all of these benefits from your life. Crying is a natural and healthy behavior no matter what your gender.