We’re all well aware of the health benefits related to laughter, and even if you’re not then you should at least know that a good laugh makes us feel happy, and that feeling happy is usually good for your health On the flip side a good cry has many health benefits as well. We often feel better after a big ol’ sob and there are reasons for this which we’ll explore in this post. As a proud advocate of crying I will also then share with you 7 Things that make me cry every time! So let’s take a look at 5 ways that crying is actually good for you!
1. It Reduces Stress - The chemical makeup of a tear changes depending on the situation. When cutting onions or when your eyes water on a windy day, there is very little going on in the tears as there in no corresponding heightened emotional state. A tear shed due to stress or loss, however, will contain adrenocorticotrophic, a chemical which triggers the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. As we cry due to stress our tears flush the chemical out, removing it from our system and reducing our fear, worry and stress! In the words of Dr Abigael San, chartered clinical psychologist “When you’re upset and stressed, you have an imbalance and build up of chemicals in the body, and crying helps to reduce that”
2. It Improves Your Relationships - This one’s for all the guys. Women generally have little problem crying in front of their friends, family and partner. This is due in part to the different hormonal makeup of the sexes, but also because of the cultural stigma surrounding boys and crying. Well fellas it’s time to “Be a Man” and have a big cry with a close friend or partner. Seeing each other in a vulnerable state builds trust and strengthens the bonds between people. It also shows that you are capable of experiencing a broad range of emotions. So next time you feel a cry coming on, be brave and let it all out!
3. It Balances Your Mood - Emotional crying activates the endocrine system which is in charge of our endorphins, our feel good chemicals. When we cry for any period of time endorphins are released into our system and we feel good. Even though the reason why we are crying might be very sad, depressing or painful, our body sensations and mood are enhanced to the point where we can handle the difficult reality. Often after a big cry, a hot cup of tea and a giggle is not far off. This could explain why hysterical laughing is often also accompanied by tears. Sometimes we laugh to the point where we trip over into crying and thus release further endorphins enhancing our mood even more!
4. It Reduces Blood Pressure - While crying does not directly reduce blood pressure, the build up of emotional pain or stress raises it. Keeping it all packed down tight results in all sorts of negative physical and psychological reactions, and the best way to release it all is through crying. So guys, again, whether you’re alone or with someone, a good cry to relieve all that pent up emotional baggage can have a profound effect on your overall health. Holding back those tears increases stress, stress increases blood pressure, among other things. So bawl it up!
5. It’s Good For You Eye Balls - Tears are full of all sorts of amazing stuff! Tears shed due to an over flow of emotions contain antibacterial and antiviral agents that work against germs and other nasty things. Tears contain lysozyme, a liquid disinfectant that can kill 90-95% of bacteria in just 5-10 minutes. A big cry is a total detox for the eyes, and even the nasal cavity as, and you won’t believe this, half of your tears actually run down the inside of your face and come out your nose. Yeah, that’s why you should keep a box of Kleenex handy for your crying sessions!
So there you have it, 5 good reasons to enjoy a cry from time to time. Obviously some people cry a lot, this might be due to depression or PTSD. Unfortunately In these cases the positive results are reduced simply because they are crying so much Do anything too much and you will inevitably reach the point of diminishing returns. But for those who cry every now and then, you can be happy in the knowledge that you are getting some real benefits. And for you guys who never cry, it’s time to dim the lights, curl up alone with a tear-jerker and let it all out, you’ll thank me
And now, for those looking for some suggestions on how to spark a good crying session, I shall share with you the 7 Things that make me cry every…single…time!
1. God Only Knows - Track number 8 on the Beach Boy’s incredible album Pet Sounds. There was a period of 3 months in 2006 where I listened to the full album before bed every night and I cried like a baby during that song every time! God Only Knows is just beautiful, musically and lyrically. I’ve heard it a couple of times in public too and I had to strain to remain composed!
2. The Happy Prince - I am serious, I cannot get through a reading of Oscar Wilde’s heartbreaking short story without cracking up multiple times. It’s only 10 pages long but the second page is where I usually fall apart. If you can read this story aloud you have a heart of pure stone!
3. Moon - It’s a sci fi movie starring Sam Rockwell, and it’s an awesome one. It’s also a film that makes me cry. I can’t give too much away as the story is excellent but I can tell you that I’ve seen it twice and I cried both times. Another film that makes me cry every time is Kick Ass. I never thought Nicolas Cage could elicit such a strong emotional response, but darnit I just can’t help it! Big Daddy!! NOOOOOOOOO!
4. Elfen Lied - Where do I start. This Japanese Anime is just a heart punching tear fest from beginning to end. But I must warn you this show will tear you apart, it has very adult themes and a lot of violence so be fair warned, it’s not for everyone. Sword Art Online made me cry 3 times so far and I’m only episode 18. It’s a bit more light hearted if you want to get your crying Anime fix!
5. Pachelbel’s Canon in D - Probably my favorite piece of music ever written, the Canon is five chords played over eight bars and repeated for however long you want. It’s incredibly beautiful and, to me at least, contains the entire universe, the love, the pain, the beauty, the horror. Close your eyes and let it wash you away!
6. The Liberation of Gracemaria - Another orchestral track that makes me cry is The Liberation of Gracemaria from the game Ace Combat 6. It starts slow but just wait till 3:16. Gets me every time *sniff*. This is going to sound nerdy as hell but I don’t care, piloting a fighter jet to the sound of that song is one very rousing experience *I’ll get my anorak
7. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Another video game based bawl. Oh the tears I shed at the end of the first game. I won’t spoil it but after spending a whole game developing a relationship with someone it’s terribly hard to watch them go. (Ok so I spoiled it, sorry)
And that’s me done, I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough for one post. Just remember there’s nothing wrong with a good cry, it has emotional, psychological and physical benefits so go for it! And all you dudes too manly to cry, find yourself a quiet room, a box of tissues, a soppy movie and go for it. No one’s gonna find out
So who here likes a good cry? What makes you cry the most?
Thanks for reading! All the best
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