The past few weeks have been hard for Americans of many walks of life.
Most of us wiped the tears away quickly, telling ourselves that there were more constructive things to do than blubbering “like a child,” but that’s not exactly true.
According to quite a bit of scientific research, crying is a natural and necessary emotional response to stress, and that not crying can actually have a negative effect on our health!
So, whether you do it while wrapped in a hug from a loved one, or all alone, here are a few reasons to let yourself cry more often.
Interesting Facts About Crying
- 85 percent of women and 73 percent of men felt less sad and angry after crying.
- Women cry an average of 5.3 times a month, while men cry an average of 1.3 times per month.
- The average adult bout of crying lasts 6 minutes.
- Tears are more often shed between 7 and 10pm (aka when we’re tired)
5 Health Benefits Of Crying
The research of William H. Frey II, Ph.D., a biochemist and director of the Psychiatry Research Laboratories at the St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre, suggests that we feel better after crying because it removes chemicals that build up during stress. “We don’t know what those chemicals are, but we do know that tears contain ACTH, which is known to be increased in stress,” reports Dr. Frey. Basically, crying could be a way to purge stress-causing chemicals from the body.
Lowers Blood Pressure
According to several studies, blood pressure and pulse rate plunged immediately following therapy sessions during which patients cried.
Manganese, a trace mineral which affects mood, brain and nerve function, is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. Again, it could be that crying is a way for your body to shed manganese and regulate mood.
Flushes Out Toxins
Tear production does more than just keep our eyes from drying out. “Tears also contain lysozyme, which is both antibacterial and antiviral, and glucose, which nourishes the cells on the surface of the eye and inside the eyelids,” explains the Huffington Post.
Cleans Out Your Nose
When crying, tears travel through the tear duct to the nasal passages, where they encounter mucus. When enough tears mix with the mucus, it loosens and is shed, keeping the nose moist and bacteria free, says psychiatrist Judith Orloff, MD, author of Emotional Freedom.