Science Says Big Girls Do Cry, And They're Healthier And Happier For It
If there’s one thing you, Kim Kardashian and Carrie Mathison’s chin all have in common, it’s that you love a good cry, even the ugly kind.
And it makes sense; according to science, sobbing your eyes (or chin) out actually does the body good.
Even when you’re not particularly upset (think: drunk crying), letting it all out in the form of tears and sniffles can make you feel a whole lot better. It turns out, there’s some science behind it.
Crying isn't just good for your soul, it's good for your overall wellness as well. Now you have a great excuse to be an emotional basket-case at work!
While most of us like to cover up our crying, you no longer need to. You can just say you’re improving your health because, in reality, you are. It's all the (non)rage!
Don’t like it? Cry about it.
Play some sad acoustic songs, look outside your window at this brutal weather, grab some tissues and let it out. No, it’s not time to masturbate... it’s time to weep, bitches.
Here are the six healthy benefits of a good cry.
Tears kill bacteria
Forget Purell, we should start bottling our tears. These wet droplets have antibacterial and antiviral properties, thanks to lysozyme, an enzyme that chews apart the cell walls of germs lurking on your surfaces and threatening to infect your eyes.
Lysozyme can reportedly kill 90 to 95 percent of bacteria in a matter of minutes, making your tears pretty potent antibacterial agents.
Next time you’re feeling weak, shed a powerful tear or two and think about how many germs you’re actually annihilating.
Crying scientifically makes you feel better
Despite feeling really sad, the act of crying actually makes your body feel better on a chemical level.
Crying reduces your body’s manganese level, a mineral that affects mood and is found in greater concentration in tears than in blood serum.
What does that mean exactly? Too much manganese can cause anxiety, irritability, aggression, fatigue and nervousness, meaning when you cry (and subsequently lower your manganese level) you’re actually improving your mood. Listen to your mother when she insists that it’s “good to let it out.”
It relieves your body of stress
You know those days when you’re completely stressed, mentally exhausted and at your breaking point? Going home and crying into your pillow may be the best cure.
Your tears flush out toxins and stress chemicals from your body, such as prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone and leucine-enkaphalin.
Basically, crying is your body’s natural way of reducing stress and protecting itself from diseases exacerbated by this stress.
Next time someone catches you bawling on the street, don’t be embarrassed. It’s almost like a different form of exercise. Here's a new one for all the bullies out there: Why run when you can go home and cry?
You see things more clearly
Literally. Tears enable us to see by lubricating our eyeballs and eyelids and preventing dehydration of our mucous glands.
Tears are pretty powerful wands -- and we're not just referring to their ability to ruin our mascara.
They help maintain clear vision by nourishing the eyeball and washing away dust and debris. If that sounds really gross, it's because it kind of is. Without tears, you’d have a lot more to cry about.
Suppressing your emotions is detrimental to your health
Bottling it up inside won’t just turn you into a Walter White evil mastermind; over a prolonged period of time, it will also damage your body.
According to Dr. William H. Frey II, PhD, director of the Alzheimer's Research Center at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, holding in your tears can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, cause high blood pressure, heart complications and even ulcers.
Merely thinking about all those potential problems makes us want to cry.
From a mental health perspective, neglecting to acknowledge your emotions or deadening your feelings could be signs of depression.
It’s important to express your feelings without any positive or negative sentiment attached. Feelings don’t have to be “good” or “bad,” they are just your feelings. Let it out before it eats away at you inside, for real.
It strengthens your relationships
According to a study by evolutionary biologist Oren Hasson, crying enhances attachments and friendships by bringing two people closer together.
Think about the times you’ve opened up to your boyfriend, cried about the past and then said, “I love you” after.
Or the times when you make yourself vulnerable to your friends and then felt deeply bonded.
Hasson analyzed different tears stemming from varying emotional and social circumstances and found that crying is an evolutionary response to garner empathy and support from the people around us.
Want to really manipulate someone into agreeing with you? Try crying.
Think about it: We often cry when we want to gain compassion from someone or to get what we want, like a ridiculously expensive handbag or a free bus ride or for your boyfriend to just understand where you’re coming from. Crying doesn’t have to be a sign of weakness, but rather, a sign of genius.