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Why People Who Cry A Lot Are Mentally Stronger, Healthier And Freer

Why People Who Cry A Lot Are Mentally Stronger, Healthier And Freer

What do these words and phrases mean to you? Cry baby, weepy, tearful, and emotional. Most times, these words have negative connotations. They are associated with weakness or a lack of control. Society expects us to keep a stiff upper lip. This stems from stoic Victorian attitudes, but in other eras, crying openly was expected in some circumstances. It was quite acceptable to cry openly for the loss of friends when mourning and was considered noble. Medieval monks often wept for their sins!

Attitudes are changing, but it is still taboo to cry openly at work, unless you have suffered a bereavement or some other personal loss. Crying at work is not okay when you are frustrated, angry, under attack, or have had a poor performance assessment.

Research by Kimberley Elsbach at UC Davis is fascinating, though. She examined over 100 crying incidents. Women who cried were likely to be judged negatively and were seen either as manipulating, unstable or over emotional. But 8 of the 9 men who cried were actually viewed sympathetically, because they were showing a more human and compassionate side to their nature.

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Let’s leave the workplace and look at how crying can make us stronger mentally and can be actually physically good for us. Here are 6 myths doing the rounds with some research findings to debunk them.

1. People who cry feel terrible

They may feel sad while crying, but the benefits that follow are amazing. Studies show that up to 89% of people who have cried buckets feel in a better mood afterwards. One of the reasons is that manganese is released when weeping. Manganese is a vital mineral for many essential bodily functions such as absorbing calcium, metabolizing fat and regulating blood sugar. Too much of it tends to result in fatigue, anxiety and aggression. Crying can help lower the levels of manganese, other toxins and stress hormones, which is one of the reasons we always feel better afterwards. It is also interesting to note that teardrops contain as much as 30 times the amount of manganese that is in our blood. So, let the tears flow. It can do you a lot of good.

2. Crying can make you feel ashamed

If you always hide your emotions, then crying will certainly make you feel ashamed. Believe it or not, expressing emotions through tears is part of being emotionally mature. Once you have overcome that barrier, you will be reap many benefits. You will feel better and freer than ever before.

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3. Weeping does nothing for your health

This is another myth that reflects the misinformation going around about crying. Among the fascinating ingredients of the average teardrop, we have the lysozyme fluid. This is your own anti-bacterial protection. It will help prevent eye infections. If your nose starts running too, that is all the better as lysozyme will protect the whole area from germs. It is estimated that tears can kill up to 90% of bacteria in a very short time. It is also effective against anthrax.

4. Crying only adds to depression

There is no evidence that crying increases depression, nor are there any conclusive studies that it is more effective than anti-depressants. But many aspects of weeping and being tearful can help a depressed person, though it should not be their main activity! But crying can help them to come to terms with difficult emotions such as despair. It can help to purify negativity.

“Crying is cathartic. It lets the devils out before they wreak all kind of havoc with the nervous and cardiovascular systems. All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble.”- John Bradshaw, author of Homecoming

5. Crying cannot actually benefit your eye health

Tears are essential and will help to keep eyes lubricated. When you cut an onion, these are known as reflexive tears and together with basal tears, they help to keep eyes free from infection. Your eyes will manufacture tears when you get an object in them or when the wind blows very strongly. These are all essential for good eye health and the best ones of all are the emotional tears, as we have mentioned above.

The majority of those who suffer from Sjogren’s syndrome, where there are not enough tears to keep the eyes moist and healthy, were found to be repressing emotional expression. Incapacity to cry was damaging their eye health but the underlying cause was doing more harm emotionally and psychologically.

6. Real men don’t cry

Figures show us that women tend to cry 47 times a year while men only do it 7 times! Men do not cry because they have been taught not to. They end up by expressing their anger and frustration in more aggressive and destructive ways. This can massively damage relationships at home and at work.

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There were times when men were respected when they cried because it indicated that they were in actual touch with their feelings and emotions. It was even seen as a sign of being a real leader and warrior.

Real people, women and men, do cry and they should do more of it! They will live longer and healthier lives.

“Given that I sweat a lot and hate deodorant, I suppose it makes sense that I weep often. But I’m not going to apologize for that, because after a good cry, I always feel cleansed, like my heart and mind just rubbed each other’s backs in a warm bath.” – Benedict Carey, New York Times reporter.

Featured photo credit: Been Crying(1)/ Toni Blay via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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