Why Does Crying Feel Good?
It's the ugly cry that gets you. It's the one where your body feels like it's contracting, when you have your full Kim Kardashian face on, unashamed of how unattractive your cry may be. The truth, no matter how ugly it may be, crying feels good. It's because you've got to let it out.
It's a bit like vomit in that way, right? It's like, sometimes, you simply can't stop it. The ugly cry begets you, and when you're done, you feel like you've had the ultimate purge. I mean, it is a purge. That cry is a moment for you. It's your time to release. It is, believe it or not, your moment of self-care because caring for yourself is also knowing when to let go of the grief and the things that don't serve you.
So let it be ugly, and long, and loud, and dramatic, and whatever else it needs to be in order for you to recuperate. You owe it to yourself. I mean, if you weren't crying, you wouldn't be… real. You'd be void of emotion, which would mean that you aren't living, and what's the point in that, right? After all, we are the only species that cries tears of emotion, so that must mean something.
Elite Daily spoke with psychiatrist, Dr. Carole Lieberman, who gave us some insight on why we feel good after a good, long cry.
We feel relieved after a good long cry because it is cathartic. That is, we have expunged the troubling sad emotions that were bubbling up inside of us. It is a way of consoling ourselves and a signal to gather others around to console us. Strong emotions — such as sadness, happiness, anger, and pain — trigger the brain to produce tears. It has been found that tears contain leucine enkephalin, a natural painkiller, which may contribute to why you feel better after a good cry.
Dr. Lieberman is right about that; a good cry also releases toxins from your system. Medical Daily reported on a study conducted by Dr. William H. Frey II, a biochemist and director of the Psychiatry Research Laboratories at the St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre, who found that similar to other exocrine processes like exhaling, urinating, and perspiring, toxic substances are excreted from the body when you cry. Several of the chemicals present in emotional crying (protein prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and the endorphin leucine-enkephalin) are responsible for reducing pain.
So, the next time you feel the need to cry, let it out like water works. Your body is actually counting on you to provide that source of relief. Besides, according to Dr. Lieberman, if you didn't cry, then you'd be like a robot, or like the "pod people" in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You simply wouldn't be human.