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We all cry every once in a while for various reasons such as emotional heartache, joy, grief, and chopping onions. But are there any health benefits that result from crying?

Classical physicians believed that crying was a good thing because they viewed it as a way of purging or purifying one’s self. Similar beliefs are held today where crying is largely seen to release emotional pain and stress. Scientists also have a similar view on the importance of crying as a way of releasing difficult feelings. It is thus an important way of avoiding repressive coping.

Past studies have associated repressive coping with various health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and a weak immune system. It has also been linked to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Crying also has other benefits, such as encouraging closeness and empathy.

Categories of tears that highlight additional benefits

Scientists categorize tears into three distinct classes: continuous tears, reflex, and emotional tears. The first two categories are important for removing dust, smoke, and other particles from our eyes. They also provide lubrication, making eye movement more comfortable while also preventing eye infection.

Emotional tears remove toxins and stress hormones and are believed to have the most health benefits from the three categories of tears. Scientific research revealed that crying induces the release of endogenous opioids/endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphin release through crying is good for shedding emotional and physical pain.

Many men in today’s society believe that crying is a show of weakness. Scientists found that such beliefs may cause men to disconnect from their emotions and even withdraw emotionally from those close to them, like family members. In some cases, men may seek to release their emotional buildup through drugs and alcohol, and in some cases, the emotional buildup may cause suicidal thoughts.

Science has reached the same conclusion that physicians concluded hundreds of years ago, that crying is therapeutic. However, uncontrollable and uncomfortable crying may also indicate an underlying problem. You might need to visit a doctor because it might indicate an underlying condition or problem with the eyes.