5 reasons why crying is good for your health
According to research, the next time you feel the urge to cry a river, don't hold back. Go ahead and let go. Just cry and cry and cry until you get it all out of your system and you begin to feel much better. Why? Because crying has proven to be very good for your health.
In fact, crying is one of the best therapeutic remedies there is.
Neuroscientist and tear researcher Dr William H. Frey II, PhD, the director of the Alzheimer's Research Center at Regions Hospital in St Paul, Minnesota in the United States, has spent more than 15 years studying crying and tears and he has released his findings in a research paper.
"Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it's a healthy one," Frey said.
He has found that crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical affects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.
The study revealed that:
- 85 per cent of women and 73 per cent of men felt less sad and angry after crying.
- On average, women cry 47 times a year, men cry seven times a year.
- Crying bouts last six minutes on average.
- Tears are more often shed between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
HOW CRYING IS GOOD FOR YOU
1. IT RELIEVES STRESS: Because unalleviated stress can increase the risk for heart attack and damage certain areas of the brain, humans' ability to cry has survival value, Frey said.
2. CRYING LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE: Crying has been found to lower blood pressure and pulse rate immediately following therapy sessions during which patients cried and raged.
3. TEARS REMOVE TOXINS: In addition, Frey noted that tears actually remove toxins from the body. Tears help humans remove chemicals that build up during emotional stress.
4. IT REDUCES MANGANESE: The simple act of crying also reduces the body's manganese level, a mineral which affects mood and is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum.
5. EMOTIONAL CRYING MEANS YOU'RE HUMAN: While the eyes of all mammals are moistened and soothed by tears, only human beings shed tears in response to emotional stress. Emotional expression acknowledges the feelings you're having. Emotions motivate humans to empathise, coordinate and work as a unit to best survive.