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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.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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