Whether it’s watching a sad movie or belly laughing with an old friend that reduces you to tears, sometimes there’s nothing better than having a good cry. Scientists and experts alike have proven that crying is incredibly healthy. Just as you watch what you eat or exercise to produce happy hormones, crying is an essential element to keeping your emotional health in check. Not only is crying a natural human response, it is also extremely beneficial for wellbeing, one which should never be met with embarrassment or shame.
If you’ve shed tears in a time of stress or despair, it is likely you noticed that you felt calmer and more relaxed afterwards. The endorphins or ‘feel-good hormones’ released in the tears we cry when overcome with emotion, compared to the tears that are produced when our eyes are irritated, instantly reduce stress and frustration to ease tension in our body and soothe the mind. Combining this with deep breathing and often the comforting touch or words of a loved one, crying is extremely beneficial for relieving the physical and mental weight of emotional stress and sadness.
But not only are tears essential for calming the mind and body when feeling sorrowful or stressed, crying tears of joy is also a natural and healthy expression for when the body is overwhelmed by a particular emotion, helping to restore emotional equilibrium. These tears will help balance your mood, to assist your emotional recovery from such a meaningful experience or sensation.
So the next time you feel like you’re welling up, whether it be over pressures of a busy life or simply a line from your favourite book, do yourself a favour and let your natural emotions flow.
Find more captivating articles on wellbeing in Issue 11 – Follow Your Heart