When was the last time you cried? What was it about? Do you remember how you felt after letting all those tears flow?
Some people are embarrassed to cry and see it as a symbol of weakness. That is a very unhealthy way of looking at things and it goes against the natural functions of the human body. Here are 9 ways crying helps you relieve stress and start healing.
1. Helps restore balance
Have you ever noticed that you cry under different circumstances in different ways? Think about it! How do you cry when you are:
- In pain
Why did this happened? Research suggests this is due to the body and mind’s need to restore positive balance to emotions. In other words, these extreme forms of emotion need to be balanced, and crying helps release that pent-up stress and return the brain to a more reasonable “average” emotional state.
So if you are stressed or in emotional confusion, crying can help alleviate some of that by bringing you into a balanced state of emotion. This allows you to begin the healing process, recovering from the limbs of your feelings in a healthy and natural way.
2. Helps you calm down
Self-comforting behavior refers to the natural ways you can try to help yourself feel calmer or better overall. Most people learn to calm themselves in childhood. However, not all forms of reassuring behavior are healthy. Still, to give you examples, here are some common ways people calm themselves down, even if some aren’t the best options:
- To bite nails
- Hair spinning
- Swinging back and forth
- Taking a warm bath
- Listen to soothing music
- Bubble gum
- Drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.
Calming behaviors should be healthy and positive to be effective, of course, and crying is one way to do it! This is because when you cry, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system of your brain, which helps in the recovery and rest of the body. It is not instantaneous, but after several minutes of crying, you will begin to feel the calming effects.
3. Gather support
Some people feel embarrassed about crying because they feel it attracts their attention. But that is counterproductive thinking! When you need to heal, you need other people to be able to empathize with you. Social support is an important factor in recovery and can help reduce the severity of negative emotions and stress.
Crying is an attachment behavior and studies Show that crying can really encourage people to join you and give you the support you need. People who care about you and who matter in your life will easily recognize that your tears indicate something serious – as long as you don’t cry all the time, of course!
This is especially helpful when you have a hard time articulating your feelings. Crying provides clear and direct communication: you are in trouble and need help and support. There is a reason we learn from childhood to cry to convey information: it works well into adulthood, as long as it is not done excessively.
Better yet, crying can help strengthen certain bonds you share with others. Show that you trust the people you are crying with, and they can show that they care about you by being supportive. Many relationships (platonic or otherwise) may feel a closer connection after this display of vulnerability.
4. Facilitates faster progress
If what you are facing is a loss or a tragedy of some kind, there are many possible ways to react. You can:
- Get angry
- Blame others
- Feeling resentful
- Feel guilty
- Suppress the emotion
- Being sad
Of all these options, being sad is the fastest way to help you get through something difficult. This does not mean that you will magically feel better, but being sad and crying allows you to grieve naturally.
Other methods of handling these types of situations often make things worse. It’s completely okay to have an initial reaction to things that don’t involve crying, but a day or two later, anger, guilt, and resentment are nothing but counterproductive. They are self destructive and can get you negative emotion cycles that are difficult to handle.
When you cry, it is a kind of acceptance. This happened and it is terrible, but you are living that moment and you are experiencing it. On the other hand, resentment, repression, guilt, and other similar behaviors trap you in the past, keeping you trapped in this tragedy for a long time.
At the end of the day, grieving is a very personal journey and process. All that is known is that crying can have a positive effect on the recovery and healing of that process. However, you should expect the pain to affect you in a unique way.
5. Improves mood
When you cry, you will likely feel a little better afterward. It won’t be a dramatic change, but you will come across a slightly more positive thought after crying. However, there are a few caveats on this and a few things to keep in mind:
- People are not unlikely to misremember the great variation between their emotional state before and after crying; in other words, it helps, but not as much as most people think.
- How others react to your cry is more important than the cry itself; Multiple negative reactions are likely to make you feel worse afterward, but being embarrassed or teased will always make you feel worse.
- Crying too much or excessively may no longer provide positive benefits for you.
- It may take up to two hours before you start to feel better after crying, so it is not an immediate relief.
But with all those disclaimers, why is this feel-better factor still important? Well, when you want to start healing, your brain needs to register it as a possible and achievable goal. Feeling a little better after crying is like taking a tentative but solid and dependable first step toward recovery!
Continued repression of the emotion can lead to a worsening of the intensity of that feeling. Studies indicate that suppressing feelings can be unhealthy, but expressing those emotions can lead to significant improvements in overall mood.
When you cry, you are admitting that you are sad. You are openly expressing negative emotions, although it can be difficult to do so. This prevents the emotion from becoming overwhelming, stopping the possibility of triggering a mood disorder such as depression.
7. Helps you sleep
Have you ever noticed that you sleep soundly after a good cry? There may be a good reason for this, although the main study found that this result was realized in babies, so take it with a grain of salt.
Crying is supposedly a strenuous activity and can be emotionally draining. Naturally, the body yearns to sleep to recover. This allows you to fall asleep easily, and the nap can help you feel refreshed and recharged after you’ve been through something difficult.
It’s also commonly known that getting enough sleep can also aid mental health, so crying yourself to sleep can indirectly facilitate emotional healing. Sleep can:
Lack of sleep contributes to irritability. unstable moodand other similar problems. Of course, all of this leads to increased stress. If you need to be calmer, you will want to sleep more, and crying can help with that relief.
Lack of sleep is a common contributing factor to anxiety and an unhealthy cycle begins because anxiety, in turn, makes it harder to sleep. Studies show that people with anxiety are more likely to experience sleep problems and vice versa. Basically, the more sleepy you are, the more difficult it is for you to cope with anxious thoughts and emotions, which can hinder your healing process.
Reduce symptoms of depression
Most research indicates that lack of sleep can cause a significant decrease in the level of positive thinking. More importantly, some research suggests that your risks of developing depression double if you don’t get enough sleep.
8. Lowers blood pressure
People often joke about rising blood pressure when stressed and, like many jokes, it is rooted in reality. Being very stressed can lead to an increase in your blood pressure in general, and that can cause other problems that can distract you from the healing process.
Fortunately, studies They have suggested that your blood pressure may drop after a good cry. Your pulse will stabilize, your vital signs will balance, and you will feel the physical effects of your emotions slowly fade.
9. Reduce pain
Crying, especially over a long period of time, reduces a pair of neurotransmitters (or hormones). Two of them are endorphins and oxytocin, which are positive, well-being hormones that improve mood and reduce the intensity of pain on an emotional and physical level.
If you’ve ever felt numb while crying, this is because these hormones work their magic. They help reduce the worst of the pain you feel, allowing you to better process your emotions. It’s a great way to start working on healing from scratch.
Allowing yourself to cry can help relieve stress and healing in general, so don’t be afraid to pull out the tissues and sob. There is no shame in needing an emotional release, especially in tough times.
Of course, there is a limit to healthy tears and what they can do. If crying begins to interfere with your daily life or reaches the point where you cannot perform daily tasks, you should speak to a doctor or mental health professional.
You should also see a professional if your crying does not help and if you feel worse or if it does not seem to improve your mood for an extended period of time. Remember, you are not alone and some people care about you and want to help you.