The Health Benefits of Tears

For over twenty years as a doctor, I’ve observed, again and time, the healing power of tears. Tears are your body’s release valve for anxiety, depression, grief, worry, and frustration. Also, you could have tears of delight, say when a young child is born or tears of relief when a problem has passed. In my life, I will be not ungrateful when I can weep. It feels cleansing, a method to purge pent-up emotions so that they don’t lodge as anxiety symptoms such as pain or exhaustion in my body. I encourage my patients to weep to remain healthy and release anxiety. For both women and men, tears are a sign of strength bravery and credibility.

In “Emotional Freedom,” I discuss the various health benefits of tears. Such as the ocean, tears are salt water. Protectively they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, plus they contain antibodies that fight with pathogenic microbes. Our bodies create three forms of tears: reflex, continuous, and mental. Each kind has different fixing functions. For example, reflex tears enable your eyes to clear out noxious particles when they’re irritated by smoke or exhaust. The second kind, tears that were constant, are frequently produced to keep our eyes lubricated–these contain a substance called “lysozyme” which functions as an anti-bacterial and protects our eyes from infection. Tears also travel through the tear duct to keep the nose moist and bacteria free to the nose. Generally, after crying, our breathing, and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and psychological state.

Psychological tears have specific health benefits. Biochemist and “tear pro” Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas psychological tears also comprise pressure hormones which get excreted from the body through weeping. After studying the makeup of tears, Dr. Frey discovered that emotional tears spill these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during pressure. Added studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, natural pain killer is ’sed by our body and “feel-good” hormones.” Interestingly, humans would be the only real creatures recognized to shed mental tears, though it’s potential that that gorillas and elephants do also. Other mammals and also salt water crocodiles create reflex tears which are protective and lubricating.

Weeping makes us feel better when a problem persists. Along with physical detoxification, emotional tears cure the heart. You don’t like to hold tears back. Patients occasionally say, for crying “Please excuse me. I was trying hard not to. It makes me feel weak.” I understand where that sentiment comes from parents who have been not comfortable around tears, a society that tells us we’re for crying–in particular that “strong men don’t weep poor.” I reject these notions. The newly educated paradigm of what constitutes a strong man and girl is someone that has got the strength and self-awareness to cry. These would be the people who impress me, not those who put up some macho front of faux-bravado.

Make an effort to let go of outmoded, false, conceptions about crying. It is not bad to cry. It’s not unhealthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and anxiety. Crying is also vital to work out grief when waves of tears periodically come over us after we experience a loss. Tears help the loss is processed by us so we could keep dwelling with hearts that are open. If we suppress these feelings that are powerful otherwise, we are a set up for melancholy. There is nothing to apologize for.”

I’ve been this enthusiastic about crying for a long time. In fact, during my psychiatric residency at UCLA when supervisors and that I watched videos of me with patients, they’d point out when a patient cried that I’d grin. “That’s unsuitable,” they’d say. I disagreed then do. I wasn’t because my patients were depressed or grieving smiling. I had been grinning because they were healing depression or other difficult emotions. I had been not unhappy for their breakthrough. In my life, too, I enjoy crying. Whenever I can, I cry. Wish I could more. I am hoping you too can value the experience. Let your tears stream to purify tension and negativity.