Health Benefits Of Crying Include Reducing Stress, A New Study Suggests
If you’ve ever attempted to hold back tears, then you know that trying to stop yourself from crying can be more difficult than letting the tears flow. While there can be an unnecessary stigma around crying, new research found that crying is actually really good for your health. A study published in the journal Emotion found that crying facilitates coping and recovery skills during times of stress. This means that the less you hold back your tears, the better you’re going to feel both physically and emotionally.
“These results suggest that crying may assist in generally maintaining biological homeostasis, perhaps consciously through self-soothing via purposeful breathing and unconsciously through regulation of heart rate,” the study reported. This is the physiological reason you feel better after having yourself a good old-fashioned ugly cry.
Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, explained on her website that there are three different kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Reflex tears clear irritants from your eyes. Continuous tears keep your eyes lubricated. Emotional tears help your body rid itself of stress hormones and promote healing. The health benefits of emotional tears are why Dr. Orloff is a big proponent of breaking the stigma around crying.
Yep, crying actually calms you down. The University of Pennsylvania Penn School of Medicine noted on its website that turning on the tears helps the body rid itself of toxins and hormones that contribute to elevated stress levels. This in turn helps lower your blood pressure.
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