When you were only six years old, wailing out in disbelief because your favorite toy broke, your mom would probably tell you, “It’s okay, don’t cry. Big girls don’t cry!” As a child, you likely believed that “grown-ups” don’t cry. After all, your six-year-old self has probably never seen your mother cry, or your grandmother, or any other adult shed tears. Perhaps you thought that growing up meant you had to pack your tears in a suitcase and ship them away. Even as an adult, you may still feel that shedding tears will make you feel immature or weak. Well, here I am to tell you that big girls can cry, too! There are some powerful positives of releasing tears.
TEARS RELEASE TOXINS
Just like sweating and urinating, our bodies remove toxins every time there is a liquid discharge. This includes crying as well. Shedding tears is a discharge from our eyes that release toxins and chemicals like cortisol.Cortisol builds up during emotional stress which helps with the fight or flightresponse. But too much cortisol built up in our systems will cause lower immunity, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, weight gain and lower bone density, and will weaken learning and memory areas. So, if you need to cry, don’t hold back. Release that extra cortisol your body doesn’t need!
CRYING RELIEVES STRESS & UPLIFTS MOODS
If you have a habit of holding back the tears, drop that habit! Built up stress and frustration cause physical health problems such as headaches and high blood pressure, and crying is a release that can prevent those issues. Have you ever noticed that your mood is uplifted a little and your body is more relaxed after you let your tears out? Do you feel a little less stressed afterwards? That’s because crying is more self-soothing and mood-elevating than antidepressants! Crying is a safe and effective way to deal with stress by releasing built up emotions. So, whether you’re at work, at home, at the store, or in the doctor’s office…wherever you are, if you need to find a private place to release it all, cry in that place. Your body needs it.
TEARS IMPROVE OUR VISION
It may be a lesser known fact, but crying could help you see better! Tears are designed to lubricate the eyeballs and eyelids, and wash away dust and debris and keep them moist. Dry eyes have a blurrier vision that can be improved by…yes, crying!
CRYING LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
It’s true! Crying is a form of relaxation and is shown to alleviate stress and blood pressure by releasing unnecessary cortisol which can cause high blood pressure if the body builds up too much of the hormone. Therefore, therapy sessions—or any situation that resembles a therapy session—are so destressing and liberating (especially if there’s someone on the other end who can empathize with you, offer perspective, and help you with your situation).
CRYING REDUCES MANGANESE
What is manganese? It’s a mood-affecting mineral that is found mostly in tears and, to a much lesser degree, in blood. High levels of manganese is associated with anxiety, aggression, and irritability. So, holding back tears does more harm to your mind and body than you think. Believe it or not, crying when you really need to makes you a happier, calmer, and younger looking person, when you really think about it. You’re unleashing all the stress that ages you, empathizing more with others, and cleansing your body.
No matter what this world says, crying is an act of courage and healing and not a weakness. So go on, big girls can cry, too!