Crying is good! Weep regularly and increase your well-being!
Remember the last time you cried? Can you remember how you felt afterwards? It is a common question in celebrity interviews, and the answer is seen as a sign of how well he/she is in touch with their feelings. The question is relevant since few of us cry in public. Often we hear; crying doesn’t help, do something about it instead! But crying does help, and you will also feel well afterwards!
Crying is considered more or less as a sign that you are week or wimpy. In our culture we are expected to always be in full control and we also expect it from ourselves! Therefore, many people are trying to hold the tears back, even if tears burning behind the eyelids. There are times when it is okay to cry, such as funerals or when a major disaster occurs in the world. It is a different thing to weep at every day events, such as betrayal, fatigue or futility. Then we feel ashamed and we try hard not to cry in front of others. It is not easy to show your vulnerability to others. Instead we try to pull ourselves together and control ourselves. It is like tears would mean that we have no protection. Perhaps men feel more pressure not to cry, because it´s not considered to be a masculine thing to do, but equally as many women feel ashamed to cry. Why is that? Crying is natural, and in some cultures it is consider natural to weep in public. However, in our culture it is considered to bee something private, and even on the few occasions when we do cry, even then we hold back, and just sobbing. And that it’s a shame, because then we don’t get the benefit of the deeper crying that releases and suppresses stress. It have to be a good boot of sobbing and weeping!
Crying is one of nature’s ingenious ways to wash away both panic and stress in a healthy way! This is because the tears triggered by strong emotions are different from tears caused by e.g. strong winds. The emotional tears contain many substances, such as stress hormones and when they have been wiped away, the tension in the body is gone! Crying serves as a major cleaning of both body and soul, and after crying you are also mentally relaxed.
Different kind of tears!
Tears are formed in the upper lid furthest away from the corner of the eyes. Tears are not just tears; three types of tears can bee distinguish and the tears appears in different circumstances:
Tears for keeping the eye moist
Every time you blink, a little tear flows out under the eyelid. The liquid keeps dust and impurities away from the eye. The fluid consists of water, salt and antibacterial substances, like lysozyme and lactoferrin, in order to avoid infections. In the fluid there are also traces of fat, protein, sugar and citric acid plus some waste substances.
Tears that removes irritation
This is the tears that you can feel when you peel an onion or get a grain of sand in the eye. These situations will automatically increase the tearing so that irritation can be washed away. These tears are similar to the tears that moistened the eye.
Tears which relieves the pressure
Tears triggered by strong emotions consists of the already mentioned topics and also protein. Additionally, the tears consist of hormones, endorphins and compounds of the stress hormone adrenaline.
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How can tears release stress?
When we become stressed, the blood content of stress hormones increases, and this reaction occurs within minutes. The stress hormones are released to prepare the body for emergencies. But stress can occur even if there is no emergency, like when we feel strong emotions. Fortunately by crying we clear the body of stress hormones.
The mechanism behind why we cry is still unknown, but it is well known that strong emotions trigger tears. Besides a reduction in stress hormones by crying, endorphins are released in the brain, which have an analgesic effect.
To cry is a strong signal to your environment. Everyone knows that its means that something is wrong. Moreover, crying shows that you are engaged. No one is crying over something unimportant!
As curiosities, the opinion of tears has changed over time. In France in the 1700s it was considered that men who wept showed that they had a refined and sensitive mind, which was appreciated at that time. During the late 1700s came the male ideal of self-control and during the early 1800s, it was not fitting for a man to cry. Tears was then considered being just for women and the very private occasions. And it seems like we still are stuck in that opinion!
I think it isn’t strange that they cried more in the past, it is more strange that we cry so little now! There is much to cry about, and we would benefit from more crying. Even if I know about the benefits, I can’t cry in public, and hardly at home either! If I do, it becomes more like sobbing than a good cry!