When was the last time you just cried your eyes out? A month ago? A week ago? Maybe you’re drying your eyes from your last good cry as you read this. It’s okay to feel vulnerableafter you shed a few tears, but you have nothing to apologize for.
In fact, crying is not only a perfectly healthy thing to do, but it’s also a sign of strength and resilience. Here are four reasons why you should feel empowered, not pathetic, after crying.
You Know How to Relieve Stress
A 1983 study from the American Psychological Association showed that most people feel more relieved after crying that was due to stress from interpersonal relationships and anxious or sad thoughts. (1)
Crying is one of the best ways to channel and filter out the thoughts and events that cause us worry or grief. Bottling up your emotions by holding back the tears can lead to long-term psychological damage that we’ll discuss later on.
When we cry, we are releasing negative tension that builds up from our day to day lives, allowing us to feel comforted and recharged so that we can pick ourselves back up afterward. Emotional tears also contain hormones that escape our body that could improve our mood after crying. (2)
Professor Roger Baker from Bournemouth University said that crying is the transformation of distress into something tangible, and the process itself reduces the feeling of trauma (source). So, when people encourage you to “just let it out,” now you know why.
It Shows You Don’t Care about What Others Think