We’ve all cried at some point or the other, for one reason or the other. Loss of a loved one, break-up with your love, or an emotional movie sequence have all made us shed tears. In fact, it is the first emotion that we, as babies, learn to express. As a child, crying is a way to seek attention and getting things to go our way. But as children, boys and girls cry without any suppression. Although both men and women cry when overwhelmed by emotions, it is easier for women to shed tears when compared with men. Men have certain inhibitions in crying for reasons best known to them. Here, we look at the health benefits of crying.
1. Expels Toxins
Crying not only cleanses our mind of negative emotions, but also cleanses our body. Tears allow our body to flush out chemicals that increase cortisol, the stress hormone. Just as other exocrine processes, like exhaling, urinating, and sweating, toxins are released from the body when we cry. Along with the toxins, the negative emotions are also expelled.
2. Destroys Germs
Crying can also kill harmful bacteria. Tears contain lysozyme, which can kill almost 95 percent of all germs in just 5-10 minutes. Tears have strong anti-microbial powers that can protect against the intentional contamination of anthrax. Lysozyme can kill certain types of bacteria by destroying the bacteria cell walls.
3. Improves Eyesight
Tears, produced by the lacrimal gland, is capable of clearing up our vision by lubricating the eyeballs and eyelids. When the membranes of the eyes are dehydrated, our vision becomes slightly blurred. Tears cleanse the surface of the eye, keeps it moist, and washes away dust and debris. Crying also prevents the various mucous membranes from dehydrating.
4. Elevates Mood
Crying improves our mood and helps us to get rid of any sad feelings. Crying can be self-soothing and elevate mood better than any anti-depressant. Over time, due to suppression of emotions, feelings of sadness and grief are bottled up within us and require an outlet. Crying provides this much needed outlet. People with anxiety or mood disorders may not always experience the positive effects of crying.
5. Alleviates Stress
Crying provides us with a feeling of relief, even if the situation does not change. Crying releases stress hormones or toxins from the body, and thereby reduces tension. Bottling up negative emotions can lead to physical health conditions like headaches or high blood pressure. Crying is a safe and effective way to deal with stress, as it enables an emotional release of accumulated negative feelings, stresses, and frustrations.
6. Strengthens Communication
Actions speak louder than words. So, crying is a more effective way of explaining how sad you feel than using words to express your sadness. In a relationship, an argument may continue until one of them breaks down, signaling that they cannot take it anymore. That puts an end to an argument, usually.
7. Reduces Manganese
Crying also reduces the manganese level from our body. Manganese is a mineral that affects mood and is found in almost 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum.
Be it a child or an adult, crying can do wonders for us. Just as laughter can bring out the positiveness from within us, crying can help throw out negativity from within us. It’s a great way to get rid of toxins and cleanse our body. So, the next time, you feel the urge to cry, don’t feel shy.