A good cry
source photos: web
There is a natural body function that helps relieve stress,
but unfortunately it is something you probably have been
discouraged from doing. Just like perspiration, the natural
function to keep the body from overheating. The natural
body function to relieve stress, anxiety and other emotional
build-ups is crying. You should allow yourself to cry.
From very young ages most of us are told not to cry. “Don’t
you cry! You stop that crying right now.” If you cry you’re
considered weak. In some cultures it’s considered
undignified, but crying is a natural stress reliever.
Sometimes you have no choice. Your body overrides any
effort to suppress the urge to cry. When you hold back
your tears, you only amplify the emotions or stress your
body is trying to release through crying.
A study by the University of Minnesota discovered that the chemicals that build
up in your body during emotional stress can be removed in your tears, and
unreleased stress can increase your risk for heart attack and damage certain
areas of your brain. So your human ability to cry is not only therapeutic, but
could even be considered a survival tactic.
Yes, there are times when it’s acceptable to cry. You can cry tears of joy, right?
You can cry at weddings, graduations or births. You can even cry when you
laugh. So why should you stuff down the tears when you really need to let them
out; when you are emotionally stressed, sad, in physical pain or depressed?
Natural stress relief is really the best of all options.
Types of Tears
There are three types of tears produced by the lachrymal gland in the eye.
Continuous or basal tears:
Keep the eye surface permanently moist and protected and contain water, lipids
or fats, proteins, and compounds that protect against infection.
Contain a similar make-up, and are produced as a reaction to irritants or foreign
Have a different make-up, and include enkephalin, an endorphin and natural
"Emotional tears contain higher concentrations of proteins, manganese,
and the hormone prolactin which is produced during stress-induced
danger or arousal,'' Dr. Carrie Lane of the University of Texas.
Women have more leeway than men to cry. It’s not quite fair, but it’s true.
Women can usually release tears much more easily than men because it’s
accepted. Men rarely consider it acceptable for themselves or other men to
cry. Most men don't even consider crying an option, but they should put down
that armor and allow themselves to cry.
Crying is a great form of stress relief when you really let it out. Let the tears well-
up in your eyes, or roll down your cheeks, or just break into a full-out sob. Pick
a place where you won’t be disturbed, and have a good cry. Of course you may
experience the side effects of crying; puffy eyes, runny nose. Just remember to
use a cold compress to control the swelling around your eyes. A cold face-cloth
pressed against your eyes is good enough. If you don't use a cold compress,
your eyes could remain swollen for hours.
After a thorough cry you will feel better. A study by the University of South
Florida found that almost everyone feels better after a cry, and that personality
has a major effect on how often we cry. An overwhelming majority of
participants reported mood improvement after crying.
Sometimes crying helps to clear the mind, and may even help you think things
through a little more clearly than you would if you hold those stressful emotions
inside. We all know that emotional decisions tend to be riddled with difficulty.
When I was a kid, my Mother use to say, “Cry, cry harder. Come on, you can do
better than that.” Of course her egging would only make me and my siblings
more upset, and we would cry harder. But when we stopped crying, we would
feel relieved of the emotions that made us cry in the first place and we moved on.
Crying may not be the answer to everyone’s stress, but the latest research
suggests it's highly effective at encouraging the body to heal, and it improves
the mood of 88.8% of those who weep. Only 8.4% of the subjects reported
feeling worse after crying. Researchers suggest that crying is so beneficial that
there may be a case for inducing crying in those who find it difficult to let go.