Sometimes we all need a good cry. We may not want to, because it makes us look vulnerable, but that doesn't mean it's not necessary. Crying comes from the deepest and most vulnerable parts of ourselves and may make us look weak, but afterwards, we come out the other end much stronger. Crying is proven to be beneficial for both emotional and physical health.
So if you haven't had a good sob in a long time, here are five surprising benefits that may make you want to go watch a really sad movie -
1. A good cry will help you be more creative
Somehow, our greatest trials and the most vulnerable parts of ourselves end up in art and literature. That deep emotion makes them real. Some of our greatest works are created from the most personal parts of ourselves. Crying allows the creative process to flourish because you are feeling such real, pure emotion. Being able to channel those feelings into art or literature lets out the bottled up stress and anxiety in our lives. Once it's out, you're left without the burden of such emotion and now have something tangible to show for it. This piece of art now has the potential to influence a lot of other people.
Tears often come with stress. This happens because crying can release the toxins produced by stress (like the chemical leucine-enkephalin) which helps to reduce pain. Once you've finished crying, you'll feel noticeably better. This is because crying let your body to get rid of those toxins hurting you physically and affecting you emotionally. Now that they're gone, you feel emotionally lighter and a bit better than you did before.
3. Tears kill harmful bacteria
The protein Lysozyme found in tears actually works to kill harmful bacteria. In a study, this protein was proven to kill harmful bacteria in egg whites, ground beef and milk. The study showed that Lysozyme breaks down the cell wall in bacteria to kill it. Therefore, whenever you cry, the Lysozyme protein is released and kills any harmful bacteria in your body. Just by shedding some tears, your body starts to heal itself and be healthier!
4. Crying allows for you to connect in a personal way
While crying tends to bring out your vulnerabilities, it does allow you to say words that can't be spoken. Sometimes it's hard for people to communicate their feelings. Crying gives us the ability to do so without saying anything. If you've been hurt or broken and you're trying to communicate that to someone but don't know how, the tears start to flow and something magical happens: A bond forms between you and the person you're communicating with and allows you to connect in a very personal way. Sometimes the greatest friendships and relationships are built when we are at our most vulnerable. Crying is just one of the ways to bring people closer together and express our deepest and most personal feelings.
5. It helps the body begin to heal
Crying is an important part of the grieving process. It allows you to mourn and express some of the most intense feelings you have and let it all out. While your tears release toxins and kill harmful bacteria, the body begins to heal...and a good cry will help you start to heal emotionally. It will take time. But perhaps, once you've finished crying, and your feelings have subsided a bit, you can feel a bit lighter, a bit brighter and soon you'll be on your way to becoming a better you.
If life is getting you down, know that shedding some tears won't make you look weak - It will make you look human. We all cry. Don't be ashamed. We're all humans with intense feelings. Crying helps us to get through those feelings. If you want to feel better, sometimes a good cry is all you need.
Callie has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communication and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading. Some of her favorite things include Harry Potter, all things Disney, road trips, and telling stories.