In this article, we will be addressing the question: why do I feel better after crying? We will be briefly discussing the benefits of crying, the science behind the relief after we cry, and valid reasons for crying.
Why do I feel better after crying?
We tend to feel better after having a good cry because of the following reasons;
- It is a cathartic process which helps us to relieve our mental burdens
- It is beneficial to keep our eyes moist and healthy
- You feel lighter and it helps in lifting your general mood
- It encourages us to seek mood-boosting activities
- It triggers physiological reactions in the body that automatically helps us to relax
- It helps us to open up to our loved ones, including family and friends, which in turn helps us to create stronger bonds with them.
- It helps in relieving severe stress and removes toxins from the body.
- There exists evidence that proves that blood pressure and heart experience a significant fall after a crying spell.
- It aids in reducing allergic reactions in our bodies
- People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis claim that they feel less pain when they cry, compared to those who do not cry.
Benefits of crying
As we all are aware, crying is a natural response. All of us experience emotions on a wide range of spectrum ranging from joy, grief, frustration to despair. It is never an unusual thing to cry all humans, irrespective of gender and other factors, cry at some point in their lives. Amusingly, human beings are the only animals that can shed tears.
There are certain benefits of shedding those tears. Some of them are as given below:
Releases a soothing effect
When you cry, you feel relieved and a soothing effect of calm and peace takes over your body, afterward. This helps you to regulate your emotions and overwhelming feelings, to calm yourself and your anxiety bouts, and to reduce the amount of distress in the body.
Crying has a natural and direct self-soothing effect on your body. It helps in activating the parasympathetic nervous system of the body, which in turn helps in relaxing the body.
Builds a support system
Crying helps in letting your loved ones know that you are in distress and that you need support. It helps in letting out all your pent up emotions with people you love and care for. This is also resonated by the fact that crying is an attachment behavior. It helps in rallying support from our loved ones including friends and family. This can be tagged as an interpersonal or social benefit.
Helps in reducing pain
I addition to the soothing effect, shedding tears also can release hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins. The release of these chemicals makes people feel good and aids in increasing both physical and emotional pain. Overall, it helps in promoting your general wellbeing.
Crying is one of the best options to lift your spirits when you are drowned in your blues. It makes you feel far better and your mood changes begin to show up gradually. Drinking a glass of water also helps you in regulating your breathing, making your mood calm and composed.
Oxytocin and endorphins that are released during a crying spell also help in enhancing your mood. This is the reason why these chemicals are known as feel-good chemicals.
Our body contains stress hormones and when we tend to get stress out due to numerous reasons, there arises a need for the body to release these stress hormones to restore a balance in the body. When we cry out of stress, these stress hormones are released through our tears. These tears also contain various other chemicals.
Crying reduces the level of cortisol in our body, which in turn helps in eliminating stress.
It has been discovered that crying helps babies to sleep better. Even in adults, crying is known to aid in getting good sleep, given its calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects. These properties of crying help a person to sleep well.
Helps in fighting against bacteria
Tears contain a fluid known as lysozyme. This fluid helps in maintaining the eyes clean. so when we cry, these fluids are released by the tears we shed and they help in fighting against the bacteria in our eyes and in keeping our eyes clean.
Lysozyme is also known to have powerful antimicrobial properties. It also possesses the ability to reduce the risks that are posed by bioterror agents, such as anthrax.
Tears keep the eyes moist and prevent mucous membranes from drying out. The lubricating property of these membranes helps us to see things. On the other hand, when these membranes dry out, our vision can become blurry.
Restored emotional balance
Crying always does not occur as a response to sadness. Sometimes we may also cry when we are extremely happy, scared, or stressed out. In this way, crying helps to restore emotional equilibrium in your body. When your body experiences strong emotions, it needs to recover from that particular state and crying helps to initiate this process.
Recovery from grief
Grieving is a slow and deliberate process. It is something which is to be expereinced consciously and mindfully, just like other emotions. It involves periods of sorrow, numbness, guilt, and anger.
Crying is a very important aspect of the grieving period. It helps you to slowly process, accept, and acknowledge your loss. Every person deals with grief in different ways. Crying spells, therefore, differs from one grieving person to another.
Helps in breathing for babies
The first-ever sound made by a newborn baby is a loud cry. They receive oxygen inside the womb, through the umbilical cord. However, once a baby is born, he/she must start breathing on its own. In this situation, it is the first cry of a baby which helps their lungs to adapt to the outside world.
Crying also helps to remove any unwanted or excess fluids from the baby’s nose, lungs, and mouth.
Empathy and intimacy
When you shed tears, it communicates your feelings to people of your close circle, which helps in eliciting compassion that is a key pillar of emotional intimacy. Emotional support and source of strength from your close ones will help strengthen your relationship with them and also aids you in improving your coping abilities during times of emotional and grieving periods.
Due to our innate capacities for empathy, we are wired to respond with compassion to obvious pain. Crying can be considered as nature’s way of assuring optimal help from fellow human beings which can make you feel secure, comforted, and stronger to face the challenges in your life, as they occur. It also promotes the establishment of meaningful and lasting emotional connectedness with people.
Types of tears
Our tear glands produce three types of tears. They are;
This type of tears is constantly being secreted by our tear ducts. They are a protein-rich, anti-bacterial fluid that helps keep the eyes moist, every time you blink.
This type of tears is secreted when our eyes get exposed to irritants and external components that trigger our tear glands. These pollutants can be wind, smoke, or onions. These tears are released to flush out the irritants and protect the eye.
Humans experience a range of emotions from time to time. Tears are shed for various types of emotions, depending upon the intensity of the emotion and the importance associated with the emotion or feeling. These tears contain a very high level of stress than any other type of tears.
Most people cry due to their emotional states which could be happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, or anxiety.
When to be careful
Though crying is healthy and beneficial to our mental and physical well-being, you should always be aware of the number of crying spells you experience during a given period. If you feel it’s exceeding a certain limit, it would be advisable to consult a therapist or counselor who can aid your healing process and make you feel better.
Excessive crying could be symptoms of something bigger which needs to be treated with the help of professional help.
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In this article, we answered the question: why do I feel better after crying?. We examined the benefits of crying, types of tears secreted by our tear glands, and when to seek professional help.
FAQs: Why do I feel better after crying?
Does crying heal you?
Crying does possess healing powers. When we cry, we tend to feel better even when the problem is not eliminated. This happens because emotional tears have the power to heal your heart. When you don’t hold back your tears, you let out what you truly feel and this makes you feel relieved and free.
Why do you feel bad after crying?
We tend to feel bad and guilty sometimes after crying because of the physiological changes that take place in our bodies. When we cry, the emotional build-up causes the body to release hormones such as cortisol, which in turn leads to the stimulation of the neurotransmitters in our brain. This causes us to feel tired, irritated, and guilty for crying, mostly. It also causes other physical troubles like headaches and a runny nose.
Is crying a sign of weakness?
Crying is not a sign of weakness. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or hurt it is a natural thing to feel like crying and it is healthy to do so. It has been said that crying is a sign of strength. It shows that you can openly express your emotions without fear of being vulnerable or being embarrassed. It also helps you to move forward in life, without getting stuck in your loop of thoughts.
Can crying a lot make you sick?
When you cry incessantly, without taking breaks, it could lead to certain physical ailments. Crying can worsen sinus symptoms such as congestion and a runny nose. Pressure and congestion of your sinus can cause headaches. Other symptoms include stuffed nostrils which can be comfortable.
Is it normal to cry for no reason?
Most of us are stressed about one thing or the other. Therefore, stress needs to be relieved of the body. Crying is one way through which you can do this. You might be crying for no reason, because of the built-up stress which needs to be released from the body. So it’s important to pay attention to the amount of stress in your body at all times. It could also be a symptom of depression.
Can you run out of tears?
You can cry all you want as you won’t run out of tears, any day. You make approximately fifteen to thirty gallons of tears every year. These tears are produced by the lacrimal glands which are located above your tears.