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People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

People Who Cry Often Are Not Weak, But Mentally Stronger

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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