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Why allow me to Cry

Lifestyle Why allow me to Cry
SUN, 16 JUN 2024 LISTEN

Becht, M. C., & Vingerhoets(2002) at Tilburg University conducted a study on crying using the microscope. They found that on average, American women cry 3.5 times each month while American men cry around 1.9 times each month. The averages by country vary considerably. The average in America is on the higher end of the spectrum. Women in China, for example, only cry about 1.4 times each month. Men in Bulgaria reportedly cry a mere 0.3 times each month.

Do we stop people from crying? The studies say NO! We should allow people to cry. Why? I explore the scientific benefits of crying in this article.

Crying, Science

Detoxifies the body

There are three different types of tears according to studies:

  • reflex tears
  • continuous tears
  • emotional tears

Reflex tears clear debris, like smoke and dust, from your eyes. Continuous tears lubricate your eyes and help protect them from infection.

Juan Murube(2009) study found that emotional tears could have different health benefits. On the other hand, continuous tears have 98 percent water, emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins. Juan Murube(2009) theorized that crying flushes these things out of the system, though more research is needed in this area.

Self-soothe , Reduces Pain

Gračanin et al.(2014) found that crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS helps your body rest and digest. Though, the impact is not immediate. It may take several minutes of shedding tears before you feel the soothing effects of crying.

The study further held that when one cries for long periods, it releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, your body may go into somewhat of a numb stage. Oxytocin can give you a sense of calm or well-being. It’s another example of how crying is a self-soothing action.

Mood Improvement

Gračanin et al.(2014) study also found that crying, especially sobbing, could lift your spirits. The explanation is that during sobbing, you take in many quick breaths of cool air. 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. As a result, your mood may improve after a sobbing episode.

Support and Recovery from grief

when you’re feeling blue- the experience of sadness or melancholy, a study by Millings et al(2016) found that crying helps you to let those around you know you need support. This is known as an interpersonal benefit. Right from birth, crying has been an attachment behavior. Its function is in many ways to obtain comfort and care from others. In other words, it helps to build up your social support network when the going gets tough. Also, crying helps one to process and accept the loss of a loved one.

Emotional balance

Aragón et al.(2015) study found that crying helps to restore emotional equilibrium. When you’re incredibly happy or scared about something and cry, it may be your body’s way to recover from experiencing such a strong emotion.

Baby breathe

Healthline explained that a baby’s very first cry out of the womb is very important. Babies receive their oxygen inside the womb through the umbilical cord. Once a baby is delivered, they must start breathing on their own. The first cry is what helps a baby’s lungs adapt to life in the outside world. Crying also helps babies clear out any extra fluid in the lungs, nose, and mouth.

Baby Sleep

In a study by Gradisar et al.(2016) on infant sleep, 43 participants used graduated extinction, also known as controlled crying, to put their babies down to bed. With controlled crying, babies were left to cry for a set number of minutes before intervention from their parents. The crying increased both the sleep length and the number of times the infants woke during the night. A year later, the crying did not appear to increase stress in the infants or negatively impact the parent-child bond.

NB:

Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.

The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, a Medical Journalist, and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Ghana. E. mail: [email protected] . Visit-profnyarkotey.com for more.

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