Know More About… Crying

Please excuse us while we play catch up! Here’s a post that we created and shared on Instagram not too long ago! IG is meant for quick intake, so we just wanted to bring this post over to the blog to talk more about how crying can actually be healthy for you!

Did you know that there are THREE types of tears?! Crazy I know… but reflex tears, emotional tears, and continuous tears are all different in cause and make up. Reflex tears are like debris – Healthline quotes them to be “like smoke and dust, from your eyes”, Continuous tears actually have positive properties and are noted to “lubricate your eyes and help protect them from infection”, lastly there’s the tears with the most known health benefits and that’s Emotional tears.

Let’s expand on emotional tears a little bit, shall we? Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins. These “feel-good” brain chemicals are known for stress relief as well as physical and emotional pain relief. Another *cool* and interesting fact about crying is that when you cry more than likely your body responds by rapid breathing. With this your body has the opportunity for consuming quick breaths of cool air, why is this helpful you might ask? Well, again siting Healthline: “Breathing in cooler air can help regulate and even lower the temperature of your brain. A cool brain is more pleasurable to your body and mind than a warm brain.” Who would’ve thought?!

It’s understandable that in a lot of instances, crying can be uncomfortable. Especially in front of people, yikes! But more to note about the positives of letting it out; know that crying happens to help us healthily process things like grief and to regulate our bodies and emotions after traumatic experiences. Holding it in due to pride can actually do more harm than good. Not releasing emotions in the moment are known to lead to more stress, lashing out at unwarranted times, and actual physical health issues. Do yourself a favor a let out the pent up emotions today… but know your limits. Lets get into when to be aware of if you’re crying… too much.

While we’ve covered why crying is healthy, we should also discuss when it’s excessive and potentially concerning. Crying too much could be a sign of depression or other another mental health condition. It may be a good idea to seek support if your crying is accompanied by

  • feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • feelings of irritability or frustration
  • changes in appetite, or weight loss or gain
  • lack of energy
  • trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • unexplained aches or pains
  • thoughts of death or suicide

If this article helped you realize that maybe you are crying a bit too much, there are resources to help! As always, in moments of crisis regardless of where you are text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 assistance, if you’re feeling more like a phone call reach out to SAMHSA at 1-800-662-HELP(4357) for 24/7 assistance as well! If you’re located in Richmond and are interested in therapy and counseling, a few places worth trying are WHOA Behavioral Health & Counsel Connect VA. And of course, our inboxes are always open for a chat! We hope this helped!

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