As a culture obsessed with appearance, strength and achievement, it is easy to see why crying is not on the list for most desirable traits. We consider crying messy and weak. If you are doing life right, then there won’t be a reason to cry. People who cry a lot are often categorized as overly emotional or erratic. And while that may be true for some, in reality, people who cry a lot ‘have it together’ in the ways that count.
Here are 8 reasons why people who cry often are actually mentally stronger than the rest of the pack.
1. They are healthier
Stuffing those emotions down is not healthy for anyone. When under stress, it is common in our culture to celebrate those who can ‘tough it out’. In reality, unchecked stress leads to a load of health issues such as an increased risk for heart attack, anxiety and high blood pressure. According to Dr. William H. Frey, crying alleviates stress both for the mind and the body. He says that crying in fact, lowers cholesterol levels and decreases a chemical that can lead to anxiety. To further support this, researchers from the University of Southern Florida suggest that crying is a way to restore us physiologically and psychologically. When it comes to taking care of their mental and physical health, people who cry often have the right idea.
2. They are happier
It is common misconception that frequent criers are the saddest people. On the contrary, crying improves your mood. In a research study conducted by Dr. Frey, 88.8% of participants found that they had an improved mood after shedding tears. Crying provides a flood of emotional relief that allows us to leave the sadness behind. We all have a reason to cry at some point in life, and those who embrace a good cry are able to address their pain and look towards a brighter tomorrow.
3. They are braver
Whether you believe that vulnerability is strength or weakness (it is a strength), there is no denying that it is a challenge. It takes a brave person to allow your emotions to be exposed in front of other people. Those who cry are knowingly inviting people into their heart at the risk (or likelihood) of being judged, misunderstood or belittled. Most of us aren’t willing to be vulnerable for this reason, yet the criers take the risk. Now, who said crying is a weakness?
4. They are better communicators
A picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe the same goes for crying. People who cry often have a knack for communication. Through tears we offer an honest and meaningful picture of our hearts. It is a common practice for people who cry a lot to use this to express themselves. This only enhances their ability to communicate in other ways.
5. They have better relationships
Vulnerability is what connects people on a deeper level and crying is vulnerability at its finest. Allowing someone in to your heart in such an unmasked way is a risk that can bring great reward. People who cry a lot experience the connection with others that comes from being vulnerable with others. For friends who are trustworthy and true, the benefit of allowing them to witness your tears is often a deeper and more connected relationship.
6. They are more honest
Tears are authentic. As they roll down your face, you can’t help but admit to yourself what you are feeling. Crying is not only brave, but is an honest reflection of the heart. People who cry a lot are frequently facing their own reality. When anyone can admit to the state of their soul, it leads to a more honest life.
7. They have a better understanding of themselves
Those who cry often are more likely to have strong self awareness. They seek to understand their own emotions. Self awareness is a state that is achieved through time and practice. People who cry a lot have had more practice dwelling on the inner workings of their mind and heart. It’s often true that people who don’t let loose and cry often struggle to explain or understand their emotions.
8. They more fully experience life
Life is truly full of highs and lows. No one can make it through without experiencing joy and suffering. People who cry more often, whether sad or happy tears, are able to feel the emotions that add color to life. Suffering and joy go hand in hand, in that you cannot numb one and still experience the other. People who cry more often enhance their overall quality of life by refusing to numb and embracing the ride for what it is.
No matter your gender, personality type or circumstances in life, it is easy to see the benefits of a good cry. If you want to fully experience a healthy and strong mind, consider letting those tears roll free.
Featured photo credit: Aleshyn_Andrei via shutterstock.com