I'm not afraid to admit I'm the kind of person who goes to pieces over almost anything.
On a seriously moody day, even a car commercial can make tears run down my face.
Growing up we learn to keep our emotions bottled up and hold a stiff upper lip. But science actually says it's best to "let it all out."
It turns out having a good cry does wonders for your health.
Why Are You Crying?
Surprisingly, our eyes actually make three different kinds of tears. And they're all a little different:
- Basal tears float around in your eye all the time, protecting them.
- Reflex tears are caused by physical irritation (as in when you actually get dust in your eye).
- Emotional tears are the only ones actually connected to sadness, stress, and other feelings.
But you don't need to be down in the dumps to feel all sad and weepy.
Studies prove that emotional tears will start flowing if you're not getting enough sleep.
People who only got four and a half hours of sleep were noticeably more irritable and weepy than well-rested patients.
The connection between stress and tears is still being studied, but as any parent can tell you, sometimes being stressed out will turn on the waterworks.
But if you're known as a crybaby, don't fret. New research says a good cry is great for your body and mind.
A Cry A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
If we all knew the health benefits of crying we would probably do it more often.
A study by the American Psychological Association found crying relieves anxiety and worries about our relationships.
A good cry can also physically change you: emotional tears flush stress hormones out of your body.
Stress affects everything from your sore muscles, to your heart, and your physical appearance. So the less you have floating around in your body, the better.
So maybe it's good news that women actually cry more often than men.
Cry Number 72
Women as a whole tend to cry twice as much as men, but not because they're "weaker" or "more sensitive."
Women also have smaller tear ducts, which makes it harder to blink back tears when you feel them coming out.
Men also tend to cry less because they're worried about how people will see them.
Too bad, because now we know it's a great stress-reliever!
Even so, if you're crying all the time, and noticing other signs of depression, you should consult a therapist.
How often do you cry? Do you notice you feel better afterwards?