How long has it been since you’ve had a good cry? Some people see watery eyes as a sign of weakness, but confronting your emotions (especially the not-so-pretty ones) requires strength in the form of vulnerability. Grab a tissue if you need to and read on to discover 10 surprising benefits of crying.

Being vulnerable helps you connect with others.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost

I know you might be afraid to reveal how you really feel to a friend or partner (especially if you just so happen to be so upset you want to cry). But being vulnerable is the best way to grow closer to another person. If everything isn’t okay, don’t say it is. If you want to cry (and feel comfortable enough with this person to do so), just let it go. Sure, some people might not like it, but the ones who matter will appreciate how upfront you are.

Confronting your feelings helps you move forward in life.

“Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.” – Albert Camus

It’s awfully tempting to play it safe in life, but if you don’t take the occasional risk, you can’t expect much excitement or personal growth. It isn’t easy to put yourself into a new situation with feelings and emotions attached (for example: starting a new relationship after being emotionally damaged in your last one), but just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. If you have harsh feelings left over from love lost, confront them without fear. Don’t try to run and hide from how you feel. Be still and soak in it. The sooner you confront your past, the sooner you can move forward into a better future.

Expressing your emotions helps you be creative.

“I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset–tears are words waiting to be written.” – Paulo Coelho

Are you an artist or writer? If so, maybe you’ve noticed that your greatest life struggles have a way of ending up in your art. My most well-received blogs and articles are without fail the most personal ones. I think this is because opening up humanizes a writer in the eyes of their readers. But it’s quite difficult to find the courage to express yourself without filter if you can’t even bring yourself to face your feelings.

No matter what you’re going through, be strong and deal with it.

Have a good cry if you need to.

Looking for further release?

Ask yourself, “How can I express what I just went through in a way that will help or inspire others?”

Spoiler Alert: I bet you’ll discover a whole lot of folks know exactly how you feel (and will be so happy you were thoughtful enough to help them).

Releasing your tears helps you flush out toxins.

“Crying is cleansing. There’s a reason for tears, happiness or sadness.” – Dionne Warwick

A study performed by Dr. William H. Frey II at the St Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre found that stress-related tears and tears caused by physical irritants (think chopping an onion) are not one and the same. Tears that are provoked by stress help your body rid itself of nasty chemicals that raise cortisol (the stress hormone). In other words: you’ll feel a whole lot better after the emotional down-pour passes.

Letting go of your baggage helps you end suffering.

“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” – Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid

Would you rather face your feelings without fear or pretend everything is okay when it isn’t? Sure, the first option might come with temporary comfort, but pretending problems don’t exist only delays the inevitable. You cannot run and hide from how you feel forever, no matter how hard you try. Carrying all that baggage around is detrimental for your emotional health, so it’s in your best interest to cry if you need to. While this won’t necessarily solve your problems, it could help you come-to-terms with them.

Crying helps you deal with stress.

“…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”- Lemony Snicket

From the Huffington Post article, “Stress Relief: Why Crying Supports Emotional Wellness

Professor Roger Baker, a consultant clinical psychologist and visiting professor at Bournemouth University, told the UK’s Daily Mail that “crying is the transformation of distress into something tangible, and that the process itself helps to reduce the feeling of trauma.”

Have you ever felt sad for no reason? Emotions aren’t always logical. Letting your emotion take hold of you, whether that results in crying or not, could help you find the reason behind your tears. And when you’re aware of the problem that requires your attention, you’ll be free to find an antidote for the stress that ails you.

Weeping helps you come to terms with a loss.

“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” – William Shakespeare

Losing a family member, friend, partner, or pet is one of the worst things anyone could ever go through. In situations like this, words don’t suffice. Sometimes the only thing you can do is hug someone you love and let the tears flow.

Having a good cry helps you feel better.

“What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.” – Jewish Proverb

A study performed at the University of Florida found that crying is more effective than any antidepressant on the market. A good cry improved the mood of 88.8% of weepers with only 8.4% reporting that crying made them feel worse.

Being unafraid to cry makes you strong.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving

I hope reading these benefits of crying helps you handle your emotions more positively. Don’t be afraid of looking weak because it takes a strong person to cry.

Can you remember a time you were moved to tears but felt a whole lot better after the fact? If so, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.

Have you ever had one of those days when all you wanted to do was read an emotionally powerful story that would provoke you to tears? 20 Books That Are Guaranteed To Make You Cry

Featured photo credit: little girl is playing hide-and-seek hiding facevia Shutterstock

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