Exploring the benefits of a good cry. And sharing 19 comforting reasons why crying is good for us…
Maybe you find yourself holding back the tears for fear of being seen as flaky and weak? Or perhaps worse, a little too self-absorbed…
After all, what have you got to cry about?
Don’t you realise how lucky you are?
Are you worried everyone will think you’ve lost the plot? Or perhaps you’re scared about losing respect?
You’re not alone.
Crying’s a natural human emotion. But it’s lost its street cred.
Yet crying has powerful benefits for us all, emotionally, physically and socially.
A good cry can act as a safety valve. Helping to reduce our stress, regulate our moods and balance our emotions. Leaving us calmer and less likely to lash out in anger.
Crying has short and long-term health benefits. And can help us to connect more deeply with those around us, strengthening our bonds and promoting attachment and community.
Crying is a natural and effective stress-relieving strategy.
Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried than before,—more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
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19 benefits of a good cry
Emotional benefits of crying –
Let’s start with the emotional benefits of crying…
- Crying is an emotional release.
- Literally emptying our feelings can help us come to terms with whatever prompted those strong emotions.
- Crying can be cathartic, releasing pressure in our hearts and minds and offering a sense of relief.
- It’s a form of self-soothing and helps us calm down.
- Crying completes the stress cycle and sends signals to our body that we’re okay. Any immediate danger has passed and we no longer need to keep running or fighting. We’re safe now.
Physical benefits of crying –
So, what does all this mean for our body?
- Crying flushes out stress and toxins (left to build up these can have a devastating impact on our health – think headaches, depression, heart attacks and more)
- A good cry releases chemicals, particularly endorphins that can reduce pain and help wounds to heal.
- Crying can reduce our blood pressure.
- And help us sleep, which in itself is so powerful for healing.
- Tears clean our eyes, removing bacteria and dust and even improving our vision.
- And crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps restore our body to its natural state of balance.
Social benefits of crying –
Perhaps the most powerful benefits of all…
- Crying is a form of communication, alerting others to our distress.
- It can serve as a wake-up call for ourselves and others, attracting and focussing our attention on what matters in the moment.
- Crying releases and stimulates oxytocin that promotes attachment, and the desire to comfort and be comforted.
- Our tears evoke empathy from those around us. Helping us all feel more in touch with our emotions.
- And sharing our pain with others helps them open up.
- In turn, strengthening our bonds, our sense of connection and community.
- Crying defuses tension and helps us feel compassion rather than aggression towards ourselves and others.
- And it acts as a powerful model to others. Sending the message that crying’s natural and normal and they’re not alone.
So now you know the benefits of a good cry…
Go on, grab some hankies, cuddle up close with someone you love and trust (crying alone just isn’t the same) and unleash those tears. Let them out, it’s good for you. And you’ll be doing us all a favour.
I’ll be looking at how we can support our children with big emotions, deal with disagreements respectfully and lots of new year planning and productivity goodness. I’d love to have you join me for that…