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Reasons Why We Cry and How It Affects Our Mental Health

Emotions play a very important role in our lives. We tend to brand some emotions like anger, sadness, and anxiety as negative, but it is imperative to remember that all emotions are necessary as these are our mind’s way of expressing or responding to the incidents happening in our daily lives. Gone are the days when society branded someone “tough” depending on whether or not they would shed tears over something.

As our mindsets move towards being more open and progressive, it is safe to say that being tough has nothing to do with crying. A woman might have gone through a nasty breakup which had made her cry for days, but that doesn’t mean she is not brave enough to give birth to her child and bring him up as a single mother. So now that we have established the fact that crying has little to do with bravery, here is why we can’t help but cry sometimes.

Stress

It is common knowledge that a lot of stress can completely mess up our mind. People who are anxious tend to get stressed out easily. Though there has been no connection between stress and crying, anxiety and tears are known to be connected. Experts opine that if we do end up crying during stress, it is actually the body’s own coping mechanism at work. Crying helps us release some of the tension, and we finally end up feeling relieved. If there had been a conflicting issue which had led to the waterworks, chances are that crying might help you resolve it, too. However, there is no guarantee that you would feel great even after a good cry. Why? There are a lot of external factors at work here. The place where you are crying, how the onlookers are behaving, the reason why you are crying, and many more.

 Double X- Chromosome Factor

It has been scientifically proven that women are more susceptible to crying. Research shows that men’s tear ducts are larger than women’s which means it takes more tears for men to cry. Even if they are feeling emotional, they can avoid tears from falling if they blink hard. As for women, the tear duct being smaller, it doesn’t take much for them to start the waterworks. Another factor at work here is turbulent hormones. Premenopausal, postmenopausal, or perimenopausal women tend to get extremely moody because of the hormonal imbalance. Since these three conditions cover almost all women, it doesn’t come as a surprise that we have a common belief that women tend to cry more. Of course, if you delve deeper, you will find social conditioning is sometimes the villain here.

Sleep-Deprivation And Fatigue

We don’t realize this often because we can’t even imagine adults crying when they are tired or feel sleepy. However, this is true. It is not just babies who cry when they are sleepy. A study conducted by scientists have proven that sleeping for less than 4.5 hours every day led to physical fatigue that made these people extremely moody, irritable, and sad. So, if you stay up late every night, remember catching your zzz’s is good for both your body and mind.

Why Is It Okay To Cry?

Now that you know the reasons one can’t stop crying, it is good to know that it is okay to cry, too. Did you know that the Japanese have crying clubs, just like there are comedy bars all across the globe? These sobfests are arranged so that people can cry their hearts out and release all the repressed pain and tension. If you need to purge your mind of all your worries and anxieties, crying can be a stress-buster. It has been found that when we cry it sort of activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Thus, our emotional balance is restored.

However, if you are crying a lot for no reason and quite frequently, something might be wrong. It is best to see a doctor and take their advice as you could be suffering from clinical depression or an anxiety attack. Your doctor might advise you to check the levels of your blood sugar, vitamin B 12and thyroid. They can affect our mood and irritability as well. And remember, crying is a good way to release any bottled-up emotion, no matter what names  anyone calls you.

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