5 ways crying is good for your body
Need an excuse to have a good bawl? We got you.
Maybe your period’s coming. Maybe the thought of going into another lockdown has you spiralling. Maybe someone took the last teabag on you. Whatever the reason for your despair, crying tends to make us feel better. But why?
Wonder no more. There’s proof that crying actually benefits your body, so let’s get into it.
Crying is a pain-reliever
A big, emotional cry can cause the body to produce oxytocin, a hormone that is also released when we feel loved up and close to others. This chemical is known to relieve pain and induce calm. It causes a surge of endorphins too, helping to reduce pain.
It promotes self-soothing
You’d often hear of babies being left to cry to learn to soothe themselves. As it turns out, the same is true for adults. Having a good wail has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which lowers our heart rate and helps the body rest.
Crying may reduce stress hormones
Studies have found that emotional tears contain more stress hormones than the tears the eye produces to keep itself moist or to wash out something in the eye. Some scientists believe that crying therefore helps to flush stress from the body.
It restores emotional balance
Strong emotions like happiness, fear, relief and anger can all cause us to cry; not just sadness. Researchers have found that expressing emotion through tears can help the body deal with and recover from that emotion, bringing us back to an emotionally balanced state.
Crying boosts your mood
This may seem like a contradiction but hear us out. Sobbing causes us to take in quick breaths of cool air, which is thought to cool the brain and make it feel better. This, along with the oxytocin and endorphins that are released during crying, can improve mood.