Was the last thing that made you cry a movie, a song, or perhaps something personal?
No matter how often or rarely it happens, crying is nothing to be ashamed of or apologize for. If you come from an upbringing in which crying was frowned upon, here are four pieces of proof that you should stop feeling bad about shedding tears.
You know how to relieve stress
According to a 1983 study from the American Psychological Association, crying is a great safety valve for interpersonal relationships, sadness, and anxiety-related stress. By shedding tears, you channel and filter out the thoughts instead of bottling them up and risking long-term psychological damage.
Crying actually releases the negative tension accumulated during the day, while comforting and helping you recharge. In addition, tears of emotion have hormones that escape the body thus improving one’s mood.
According to professor Roger Baker from Bournemouth University, crying relieves trauma, as it is the transformation of distress into something tangible.
You aren’t afraid of your feelings
There are numerous causes of people’s tears: stress, anger, sadness, low blood sugar, hormonal imbalances, loss, loneliness, even seemingly trivial things such as songs or films.
Yet, what’s important to bear in mind is that crying is a way of accepting and confronting feelings. A person who ignores these negative feelings might turn to alcoholism, drug abuse, or experience depression, anxiety, or compulsive behavior.
People often avoid facing emotions fearing judgment and feeling guilt, often choking back tears as a result. It is important, however, that one acknowledges their emotions and have the bravery to express them.
It means you don’t care about what others think
In the presence of others, we often try to suppress the feelings of vulnerability and feebleness. Our society has imposed a belief that crying in front of others should be avoided at all costs. Yet, human nature is not easy to control and it is impossible to always keep up the emotional guard.
According to the findings of a 1964 study, which analyzed the self-reported emotional response of people while in the company of someone crying, the compassionate reactions were more frequent than the negative ones.
Crying did make most people feel uncomfortable, but it also induced feelings of empathy, meaning that in some cases, social expectations pale into insignificance.
Crying makes you a better friend
Shedding tears is a sign of comfort in one’s presence, trust as well as honesty.
Sometimes, if you receive bad news in the company of a friend and you are the first one to start crying, you might help the other person relieve the stress and express their emotions too. It is by breaking those walls that the most meaningful relationships are developed.
Crying and mental illness
Note that you should talk to a therapist or a counselor if you have frequent urges to cry – such episodes might be an indicator of underlying issues such as anxiety and depression. Millions of people around the globe suffer from these conditions, but it is imperative to ask for help as soon as possible – remember, you are not sentenced to lifelong suffering.