A bunch of wise guys out there claim that crying is a sign of weakness. But you know what? They don’t know jack! They probably hold bachelor degrees from places like Stupid College and Dummy Pants Tech where they ranked near the top of their class because a GPA of 0.0 what their schools strive for. According to the real experts that are highlighted in this article, crying is necessary and extremely therapeutic. Check out these 8 benefits.
1.It helps you deal with physical pain
Imagine breaking your leg during a botched backyard wrestling stunt. Or burning your hand by accident (or on purpose?). The pain is intense. You should just suck it up, right? Hell no! Professors at Pretentious Polytechnic Institute and State University have found that when you cry, the body releases oxytocin and other hormones that increase your ability to handle pain. So sob away, dear kittens!
2. It helps you sleep
What are some characteristics of good parenting. If you said, “Letting your babies cry” then you’ve just won a cigar! While it might be tempting to pick up a baby and cradle him/her when they’re waaaaahing, some folks who know an awful lot about pediatrics claim that babies who are allowed to cry actually sleep better and for longer periods of time. While it isn’t yet known whether crying has these same positive effects on adults, for the sake of neatly tying up this narrative, we’re going to take it upon ourselves to declare that it most definitely does!
3. It alleviates stress
You’ve probably noticed that after you cry, it’s like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. There’s a scientific explanation for this. According to smart but dorky academics at some quaint New England liberal arts college where the leaves on the campus’s trees are always orange and yellow, our tears actually contain stress hormones, so when you cry all of that pent up stress is literally leaving your body. Literally, guys.
4. It allows you to experience happiness
This might sound counter-intuitive, but if a mental health specialist with a bunch of initials/titles attached to her name says it, who are we to argue? Sure, I’m Geoffrey D’Souza, MPP, but when it comes to the science of crying, Erika Miley, M.Ed, LMHC is far more qualified. Here’s the deal: if you are bottling up your feelings of sadness and refuse to allow yourself to cry, it becomes difficult to feel any emotions at all, including happiness. So there you go. Now it all makes sense, no?
5. It generates sympathy and support
One of the things that distinguishes humans from turtles and hippopotamuses is our ability to feel compassion. This isn’t to suggest that turtles or hippopotamuses are cold, unemotional psychopaths. It’s more that they’re plain dumb. In any event, studies conducted by hipster-looking California-based researchers with beards, lab coats and clipboards have found that when a newborn baby cries, other newborn babies at the hospital nursery will respond by crying as well…and it’s not just because babies are crying and pooping machines. They are essentially born sympathizing with their fellow humans and crying is how they show support. Fast-forward to adulthood and you find that humans still respond emotionally when they see that somebody needs their sympathy, this time through hugs and such.
6. It helps you deal with trauma
When you experience a situation that is physically or emotionally shocking, it has the effect of throwing your hormone levels out of balance. But when you cry, it assists in re-balancing your body and mind. This bit of insight comes courtesy of men and women who graduated from preschool, did well in elementary school, went through awkward phases in middle school, sucked at sports in high school, studied at the library on Saturday nights in college, and devoted 5 years to a doctorate program – incurring $125,000 in student debt in the process – so that they could receive a piece of paper declaring them experts at crying.
7. It lowers blood pressure
This one makes a ton of sense, and it doesn’t require some genius with an advanced degree to figure it out. As mentioned above, after a good cry your stress levels go down. Lower stress is strongly associated with a steadier pulse and lower blood pressure levels.
8. It helps you move on from grief
The way we deal with the death of a loved one or a bad breakup varies from person to person. Some express anger while others opt for sadness. A psychotherapist who wrote a totally wicked self-help book explains that people are wasting their time when expressing the former while benefiting from the latter. In essence, resentment lingers on, but allowing yourself a chance to mourn makes the process of healing go much faster.