Let it all out – crying is good for you

Holding back the tears? Don’t bother… According to emerging evidence crying could be good for us.

Crying remains one of sciences biggest enigmas. We all do it but are yet to find a scientific explanation as to why. What we do know however, is that despite the puffy eyes and hyperventilating, crying does actually have it’s up sides, with science continuing to prove that having a good old sob can be beneficial (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time).

Though we are still some way from discovering why it is that humans cry, there is emerging evidence to support the idea that shedding a few tears could be good for us. Of course it is difficult to sit and think about the benefits of tears in the midst of a break-up, or after a severe toe stubbing, but according to scientists our tears have more of a cathartic effect than we ever could have imagined.

Noteable discoveries include the following:

  • According to experts, crying indicates a lack of inhibitions, which is a sign of high self-esteem.
  • A 2006 study revealed that crying may reduce allergies. The study involved 60 patients with eczema watching a weepy film. Before the participants watched the film they placed latex on their skin and post film the skin reaction between those who cried and those who did not was compared. Researchers found that those who cried possessed less inflammatory markers.
  • A Japanese study revealed that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who cried frequently, experienced less pain and a lower number of symptoms than those who didn’t cry on a regular basis.

Some scientists are of the belief that crying works by releasing some form of valve which frees the body’s build up of stress hormones, calming down the body after a stressful event.

Though it’s likely to be some time before we discover the explanation for crying, what we do know is that it serves a purpose, and for that reason we shouldn’t be afraid to let it all out.

View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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