Cry Me A River: The Psychology and Effects Of Crying

We’ve all experienced a “good cry”—whether following a breakup or just after a really stressful day, shedding some tears can often make us feel better and help us put things in perspective. But why is crying beneficial? And is there such a thing as a “bad cry”?

What happened as we grew older? We learnt to repress our emotions. Not show our disappointment or pain so easily. We became big boys and big girls, and our parents and teachers reminded us again and again to stop crying over this or that and to be brave.

But fact of the matter is we all have to cry even as adults at some point or the other in our lives. And scientists have discovered that those who have a good cry periodically actually lead healthier lives.

Here’s how crying can heal you:

1. Release tension and the toxins of emotional stresses from the body. After a good bawl, don’t we all feel a little lighter?

2. Tears which flow with emotion actually contain higher amounts of protein and beta endorphin – natural pain relievers. Tears also kill bacteria, lubricate our eyes and help us see better.

3. Those who cry more often than others report less physical illnesses than those who keep it inside.

4. Crying aids inner calm and peace. We can view the situation more clearly and calmly after a good session.

Being strong and brave is not about suppression of emotions. It’s about clarity, willingness to face whatever life offers our way. And knowing the power of release. So the next time you feel the tears well up, go get the box of tissues and cry your heart out. You’ll feel better in more ways than one.