The Importance of a Good Cry
With all that is going on in the world at the moment, there is plenty of reason to be mentally and emotionally exhausted. Change almost always comes with stress, and we have undergone so much change this year.
A lot has been asked of us this year. We are constantly asked to postpone our face to face visits with friends and family and avoid physical contact. We are probably so sick of relying on technology for communication with others. And many of us are feeling the strain of being inside, in the same few rooms for far too long. All of this is naturally going to take its toll on our wellbeing.
We do understand that there are always reasons to be grateful. We might be grateful that we are healthy, we may have plenty of people in our household who are helping us, and we may even have that extra quality family time we have been wishing for. However, none of that erases those underlining negative feelings that very likely developed in the last few days, weeks, or months.
So how do we cope with those negative stressors and emotions? Well, if you feel up to it, treat yourself to a good cry.
Our culture tends to teach us that crying is unnecessary, something that only young children should do. The idea of crying may be trying, or even irritating to you. We consistently hear phrases like “there is no use crying over it”, or “stop being a cry baby”, and we might assume once we reach a certain age we should stop crying. Often when adults cry, they apologise, and try to hide our tears. This is not necessarily bad; it is just what our culture has taught us. All that being said, holding back tears is not healthy.
When we cry, it is because our body is telling us we need a release. Holding back tears means you do not get that natural release your body is telling you, you need. Allowing oneself the chance to have a deep cry is actually really helpful in the self-soothing, and in the healing process. Crying has been proven to have so many positive impacts on both physical and mental health.
Below are study-supported benefits of crying:
- Crying has a soothing effect
- It helps regulate emotions
- It calms and releases stress
- Tears help protect against germs
- Crying has a cleansing effect
- Good for pain relief
- May support restful deep sleep
- Promotes support from others
- Enhances mood
- Lowers blood pressure
- Speeds up the healing process
- Crying can bring people closer together
So, in this time of stress, uncertainty and exhaustion, I encourage you to find that safe space to go and just have a good cry. Let your tears help wash away some of those negative emotions you have been holding onto. Allow yourself to let go of some of that stress and frustration as you cry. And I am sure, if you keep crying when you know you need to, your wellbeing will profit.
For more information see the references below.
Bestie. (2019, March 23). What Happens To Your Body If You Cry Once A Week [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY62aO0KaqY
Burgess, Lana (2017, October 7). Eight benefits of crying: Why it’s good to shed a few tears. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319631
Greenwald, M. (2018, December 19). 17 Amazing Benefits of Crying: Don’t Forger Those Tears- They’re Trying to Help You! BestLife. Retrieved from https://bestlifeonline.com/benefits-of-crying/
Sollitto, M (2019, October 30). Go Ahead, Have a Good Cry: 5 Reasons Why It’s Good for You. Aging Care. Retrieved from https://www.agingcare.com/articles/reasons-why-crying-is-good-for-your-health-146022.htm#:~:text=Crying%20Lowers%20Blood%20Pressure,heart%20failure%20and%20even%20dementia.
The School of Life. (2020, May 20). The Benefits of Crying [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-122SRX3sbI
Your Health TV. (2020, January 8). 8 Benefits of Crying: Why it’s Good to Shed a few Tears [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKlpGemtfvc
Don’t forget to check out the wellbeing page on the CHPS Home Learning Portal for more wellbeing support!
Cheyenne Mason – Student Wellbeing Officer