''What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul''
Well, as they say crying is just for kids! Watching an adult cry might not seem a pleasant thing, but if you have cried lately, you will know how healing it is. Everyday, we are constantly told of the therapeutic value of laughter, but what about crying? If laughter constitutes one end of the spectrum of human emotions, crying is the other end. If it is so, why do we elevate one and belittle the other, why not accept it just a natural act!
Ever since you have grown up, you have always been told to hold back those little tears and always have been discouraged to cry. Almost everywhere in the world, tears are seen as markers of weakness and vulnerability and considered undignified and childish. But as human beings endowed with emotions, we always seem to forget that it's just a natural response to certain feelings which we cannot whisk away. Suppressing the urge to cry only amplifies the emotions or stress your body is trying to release through crying.
Studies suggest that crying is highly effective at encouraging the body to heal, and it improves the mood of 88.8% of those who weep.
Now, since we are talking about crying let's know about their super agents i.e tears. There are three types of tears produced by the lachrymal gland in the eye.
- Basal tears: Basal tears keep the eye surface permanently moist and protected and contain water, lipids or fats, proteins, and compounds that protect against infection. The human body produces an average of 5 to 10 ounces of basal tears each day. Whenever, we have a good cry, these tears drain through the nasal cavity and that's why we develop runny noses.
- Reflex tears: Reflex tears too protect the human eye from harsh irritants such as smoke, onions or even a very strong, dusty wind. The sensory nerves in your cornea communicates this irritation to your brain stem, which in turn sends hormones to the glands in the eyelids. These hormones cause the eyes to produce tears, effectively ridding them of the irritating substance.
- Emotional tears: Well, all of you know about emotional tears. These tears include enkephalin, an endorphin and natural painkiller. Whenever the brain registers a sad situation, it triggers the endocrine system to release hormones to the ocular area, which then causes tears to form.
Now let's have a look how shedding some tears is actually good for you:
Crying improves vision
Tears not only lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids, they also prevent dehydration of our various mucous membranes. Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and wash away dust and debris. So basically owing to the lubrication effect, they help us see better.
Crying kills bacteria
Tears contain lysozyme, a fluid that can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria in just five to 10 minutes!
Crying flushes out harmful toxins
All the toxins present in our body because of stress and built up tension is flushed out through tears.Tears that are produced by stress help the body get rid of chemicals that raise cortisol, the stress hormone.
Crying balances your mood
Emotional crying activates the endocrine system which is in charge of our endorphins, our feel good chemicals. When we cry for any period of time endorphins are released into our system and we feel good.
Crying relieves stress
Even though crying doesn't change the situation, but it immediately provides relief and temporary comfort. Most people tend to punch walls and become violent when they are angry, instead just have a good cry. It provides an emotional release of pent up negative feelings, stresses, and frustrations.
Crying helps you deal with loss
In life all of us go through unfortunate events, like losing a family member, friend or dealing with a breakup. In situations like these, words don't suffice. The only thing you can do is to cry and let out all the grief so you can move past it. Just hug someone and let the tears flow.
The next time anyone says, 'be brave, don't cry', you will know what to do. So what if you get a little embarrassed or uncomfortable when these tears just trickle down on your cheeks out of nowhere. Crying is powerful and one of the most basic and unifying experiences of being human. Just let it all out.Also keep a box of tissues handy!
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