The Healing Powers of Crying

Written by: editor Mar,14 2011 16:41 PM

The word “cry” is often associated with the display of emotion, particularly of the negative type. In fact, there is not one, but three types of crying: reflex (caused by irritation), continuous (tears produced regularly to keep eyes hydrated and functional), and emotional. Regardless, the act of crying itself carries therapeutic relief to a person’s wellbeing...

1 Stress-buster
The body is equipped with a natural stress-reliever, which is tears. As found in a study by the University of Minnesota, tears are able to eliminate cortisol (stress hormone), which would accumulate with emotional stress. High levels of cortisol can increase the risk of heart attack and other health problems. Hence, the ability to cry can be considered a survival tactic.

2 Lift spirits up
Crying may often be associated with sorrow, but by understanding the physiology of humans, you will see that it is only part of the process to feeling better. When a person cries, the body secretes endorphins (feel-good hormones) to stabilise the mood. What is off-balanced by sadness is washed back to the state of contentment.

3 Keep flu at bay
Tears contain large amounts of antibacterial substance called lysozyme, which has the ability to kill the germs that get into our eyes. Without this layer of defence, the germs can become offensive to the eyes and possibly even the nose which is connected to the tear duct. Crying simply sets the body’s army free, preventing the intruders from their destructive activities.

4 Detoxify
Just as we secrete sweat or urinate to release the body of toxins, crying also functions in the same way. Emotional tears are found to contain more toxic by-products, especially the hormone cortisol, than tears caused by irritation (itchiness or peeling of onions). This indicates that tears can actually get rid of toxins from our system. Build up of toxic levels in the body can weaken the immune system and make one susceptible to diseases. So crying can help maintain a healthier system.

5 Lubricate
Most importantly, tears are a gift of sight. The eye surface is covered by three layers of tear coatings for different purposes: to protect the cornea and evenly distribute the tear film on each layer; to fight infections and spread the tear film all over the eye surface; and to retain moisture of eye membranes. Crying is only an automatic response by the eyes to maintain the much-needed lubrication.


With the many wonderful blessings of tears, give yourself a good cry every now and then. In the wise words of Eileen Mayhew, “Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.” 


Eye Guide

 


 

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