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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

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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