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Crying - Can it Help You Overcome Sadness?

Dr. Ramneek Varma 89% (352 ratings)
MD-Internal Medicine , MBBS
General Physician, Delhi  •  42 years experience
Crying - Can it Help You Overcome Sadness?

While some people see tears as a sign of weakness, for others crying is a crucial way of dealing with grief. Though as children we’re told not to cry and to ‘keep a hold’ of our emotions, letting go of a few tears can help alleviate grief and emotional distress.

Here are a few reasons crying could be a good idea when dealing with loss.

  1. Crying can stimulate the release of endorphins: Crying cleanses the mind of negative emotions and allows you to express your emotions. Crying can be described as a reaction to pain and in order to control pain, the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are also known as happy hormones as they block the transmission of pain signals and create a sense of contentment. These chemicals can take a little time to have an effect and hence in most cases, you will notice an improvement in your mood after a good cry.
  2. Crying elevates the mood: Crying can help reduce your body’s manganese levels. A higher than normal manganese level can heighten anxiety, irritability, tiredness and emotional disturbances. By lowering manganese levels, the brain is left with enough space for happier emotions and hence crying can help elevate a person’s mood.
  3. Crying stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system: The parasympathetic nervous system controls a number of functions including heart rate. Crying can stimulate this system and trigger a state of relaxation. For this reason, you may feel sleepy after crying. This gives your body time to relax and deal with the problem at hand with a calmer mind.
  4. Crying helps deal with stressA stressful experience or emotional situation can cause a build-up of stress hormones known as cortisol. As the levels of cortisol increase in the body, it goes into flight or fight mode as an automatic response to stress. Crying reduces the cortisol levels and helps relieve tension and stress almost immediately.
  5. Crying is cathartic: Every day we are exposed to conflicts and stressful situations that can build up into resentments and leave a person feeling anxious and depressed. Sometimes, giving vent to emotions and crying can help release these pent-up feeling and heap cleanse the mind of these negative emotions. Crying also allows us to open ourselves up to the people around and can improve the levels of intimacy between them. In this way, it can help a person become part of a community. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
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