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9 Surprising Benefits of Crying, or Why It’s Okay To Have a Good Cry

9 Surprising Benefits of Crying, or Why It’s Okay To Have a Good Cry

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Daniel Wallen

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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