Health Benefits of Crying
From stress reduction and mood enhancement to toxin elimination and improved eye health, the act of shedding tears brings about a range of physiological and psychological advantages.
Tears are often associated with sadness, grief, or emotional distress. However, beneath their surface lies a remarkable phenomenon that goes beyond emotional release. Crying, a universal human experience can have surprising health benefits that extend to both our emotional and physical well-being. Let’s delve into the mysterious world of tears and explore how shedding them can actually make you healthier and happier.
Dr Santhosh Nagrekar, a Mumbai-based ophthalmologist says, “ People often ask me how to keep their eyes healthy and I tell them to cry!” According to Dr Nagrekar, it is usually emphasized to hide tears and put on a brave face, but it’s important to recognize the profound health benefits that come with shedding tears.
He says tears help lubricate and nourish the eyes, keeping them moist and preventing dryness. This moisturizing effect reduces the risk of eye irritation, infections, and conditions such as dry eye syndrome. Additionally, crying can help flush out foreign particles, dust, and irritants that may have entered the eyes, offering a natural cleansing mechanism.
Meera Bhonsale, a psychiatrist from Pune talks about more benefits. She says, “Crying is a natural and valuable process that enables us to navigate the complexities of our emotions, relieve stress, and foster deeper connections with ourselves and others.” She urges people to embrace the healing power of tears, allowing them to flow freely to nurture both their emotional and physical well-being.
According to her, this is how crying improves your health
- Stress Relief and Emotional Catharsis: Tears offer a pathway to release and relief when emotions become overwhelming. Crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to counteract the effects of stress and induce a state of relaxation. By allowing yourself to cry, you give your body a chance to expel emotional tension, bringing a sense of calm and balance to your overall well-being.
- Stress Hormone Regulation: Crying has been found to regulate stress hormone levels in the body. Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, is released during times of tension or anxiety. Studies have indicated that tears contain stress hormones, allowing the body to eliminate them through crying. This process helps restore hormonal balance and reduces the adverse effects of stress on the body, including high blood pressure, weakened immune function, and impaired cognitive performance.
- Mood Elevation and Endorphin Release: Ever experienced the uplifting feeling after a good cry? That’s no coincidence. Crying triggers the release of endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good hormones. These endorphins can elevate your mood, alleviate feelings of sadness, and promote a temporary sense of emotional well-being. So, shedding tears can serve as a pathway to finding solace and renewed positivity.
- Emotional Regulation and Mental Clarity: Crying is an integral part of emotional regulation. It allows us to process and cope with intense emotions by providing an outlet for their expression. By shedding tears, we grant ourselves the opportunity to work through difficult feelings, leading to a clearer state of mind and improved emotional resilience. It’s through this process that we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our emotions.
- Physical Cleansing and Toxin Removal: Believe it or not, tears can play a role in detoxification. Emotional tears contain stress hormones and certain toxins, and by crying, we can release these substances from our bodies. This cleansing effect can contribute to a healthier internal balance and may even help alleviate physical symptoms associated with stress.
- Connection and Support: Crying not only helps us individually but also strengthens social bonds. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and cry in front of others, we open the door to connection and support. Sharing our tears with loved ones fosters empathy, compassion, and understanding. It’s a powerful reminder that we are not alone in our struggles and that seeking comfort from others is a natural part of the human experience.
Crying is a fundamental human response, and it is a testament to your strength, resilience, and willingness to embrace the full spectrum of your humanity. By embracing your tears and allowing yourselves to cry, you unlock the potential for healing, emotional resilience, and overall well-being. So, the next time you find yourself on the verge of tears, remember that it’s not just a natural human response, but a powerful tool for promoting health and happiness.
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