Health Benefits of crying you should know

 a man crying
Do you know crying has some health benefits? Find out below..
During a church lecture on family health several months ago, the question was asked about the reasons behind the global advantage women enjoy over men in terms of life expectancy.
The answers were not far to seek; women multitask, went the guest lecturer and so they tend to handle stress better than men even as they absorb the shock of their loss. The second reason was more confounding; women, he said, were ultimately quicker to tears and that being a very public display of emotion ultimately brings healing very swiftly to a grieving heart. The auditorium erupted in a din of sound as the second answer almost turned into a lecture of its own. Clearly, the lecturer had hit a raw nerve which resonated with many in the church and people wanted to know about that interesting relationship. It was therefore the impetus for this week’s essay and that was for no less a reason than the assurance of scientific enquiry which indicates that crying does have a range of positive benefits.
Crying is a natural response found in man as a reaction to various emotional states. Grief, sadness, frustration and joy all make people cry for a varying duration of time. People of either sex often cry more frequently than is apparent and this is a quality not limited to humans alone. In documented evidence recorded in the United States, it became evident that the average woman cried about 3.5 times every month while the average man did so half as many times. So now we must try to understand why people, irrespective of their sex, cry. These are broadly divided into three main categories and none is less important than the other but it needs emphasis that when people usually talk about crying in the ordinary sense, they refer to the emotional type of it and are therefore, referring to emotional tears. Among men, there is a tendency to suppress the urge to cry or to suppress tears especially if they perceive such an emotion to be a sign of weakness.
Crying in response to pain or joy or sadness is no doubt a normal development. Sometimes, crying is a prominent feature in depression which ought to be suspected if the frequency of crying is regarded as abnormal or it happens for no evident reason. One must also worry about the possibility of depressive illness if such excessive crying begins to interfere with the person’s daily activities or interferes with their work. When other features of depression are seen such as difficulty with concentrating on things or making decisions, such crying must then be determined as not being beneficial but probably suggestive of some deeper malaise.

The first cause is that the tear ducts always secrete basal tears. This watery product is a protein-rich fluid that has antibacterial properties and it helps to keep the eyes moist every time a person blinks. This is a quality seen in other mammals as well. The second cause of crying is broadly known as the reflex entity in which tears are produced as a result of irritants in the air around us such as smoke, onions and wind. It is to prevent this happening that motor vehicles are equipped with windscreens and motorcyclists are advised to wear protective goggles when riding. In either case, these devices are invaluable in protecting our eyes from harsh contact with breeze that would certainly cause tearing. The last common cause of crying is the emotional variety in which case, anger; rage; bereavement; pain; sorrow and heartbreak can all contribute. The tears produced in this last group are rich in stress hormones rather than the antibacterial quality seen in the first type.

Some of the obvious benefits of crying will be itemised below so as to define in bold relief what science has found in connection with it.

1) Crying has been variously described by many workers in the behavioural science community as primarily an attachment behaviour that helps the crying person to attract both sympathy and emotional support from others around them. In this connection, its social benefit is well recognised as an important part of the healing process. It also helps in an immediate way to deal with sudden grief especially by helping to bring about calm and some self-control.

2) As a follow up on the first reason above, crying does help a lot of people to achieve some emotional balance following tragedy and loss. It improves the mood by increasing the production oxytocin, a hormone also released during orgasm primarily in women. Furthermore, oxytocin and endorphins can also help improve the ability to handle physical pain. For this reason, these hormones are also called the “feel good” hormones.

3) When people cry in response to stress, their tears are said to contain a number of stress hormones. Other chemicals are also a part of the secretions. Some researchers believe that the very act of crying reduces the levels of these hormones and chemicals in the body and therefore help to reduce stress. As women tend to cry more often than men, therefore, they become more adept at controlling their stress and looking healthier than men of a similar age and circumstance. They simply achieve that by crying more often.

4) When basal tears are secreted, they are released every time we blink and they thus help to keep the eyes moist by lubricating the mucous membranes. By doing so, the eyeballs are prevented from drying out and the resulting wetness actually helps the eyes to see objects more precisely. If the membranes do not get this kind of lubrication and they get to dry up, the vision becomes blurred and the eyes could even become damaged.

5)  Crying is said to help in killing bacteria by virtue of containing a fluid known as lysozyme, an agent with such antibacterial potency that it was found in a 2011 study to be powerful enough to contain a powerful organism like anthrax, a potential agent of bioterrorism.

6) In a landmark study in 2014, crying was found to have a genuinely soothing effect on individuals. That study also examined how crying affects the parasympathetic nervous system and thus helps people to relax. The study also found how people are therefore able to regulate their own emotions, achieve stability and bring themselves some measure of calm. It is not an easy status to achieve which goes to reinforce the notion that the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system plays an immense role in bringing that state about.

7) In a small study in 2015, it was determined that crying can help babies to sleep better. Whether such an effect is replicable in an adult has not yet been proved or even studied but the thinking at the present time is that the mood improvement and, pain-relieving effects of crying could actually help induce better sleep.
 In taking all of this into consideration, there is no doubt that people should let go when they feel like crying; it may prolong life.