Benefits of a Good Cry

Unless you let it move, sadness–acute or chronic–can clog you up, putting perpetual tension into your eyes, heart, stomach, and lungs. Crying is not the only way to release sadness, but it’s a darn good one. Find out from a biochemist why crying is so helpful, and get some hints about it here:

Research conducted by Dr. William Frey, biochemist and tear expert, showed that emotional tears differ chemically from tears cause by cutting onions, indicating that crying releases specific toxins. Even Aristotle theorized that a good cry “cleanses the mind.”

How do you make yourself cry? You can sneeze when your nose tickles, cough when water goes down the wrong pipe, yawn when you’re sleepy, bang pillows when you’re angry, and release sexual energy when you’re aroused. But letting tears flow involves opening yourself to the feelings from within.

Start by giving yourself some uninterrupted time, probably alone, since crying near others might keep you from focusing on your own experience. Watch a stirring movie, listen to ballads of longing, or read a heart-rending book. (Kids’ books like Charlotte’s Web can be poignant and fast reads.) All of these can give you permission to release your sadness.

When your eyes start to water or your heart feels tingly, focus on your physical sensations. Let your thoughts–ranging from everything will be okay to it’s so awful–be in the background, not dictate your feelings. Don’t rush the process. Let the tears flow. Big girls–and boys–do cry.

Adapted from 365 Energy Boosters, by Susannah Seton and Sondra Kornblatt (Conari Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Susannah Seton and Sondra Kornblatt. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from 365 Energy Boosters, by Susannah Seton and Sondra Kornblatt (Conari Press, 2005).

10 comments

Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI11 months ago

Very interesting.
Thank you.

Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI11 months ago

Very interesting.
Thank you.

tin leng lim
tin leng lim3 years ago

Thank you.

Mm M.
MmAway M.3 years ago

When it comes out like a flood, I feel better, but have Samsonite luggage bags!

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

I rarely do it but I do the tears and emotions are very strong and very real and feels almost therapeutic and very liberating afterwards especially for someone like me that bottles everything up and walks around with a stoic reticence. Thanks Annie!

Leia P.
Leia P.6 years ago

good advice

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.6 years ago

No. My mother is a doctor and she says crying is actually bad for you, because it causes bags under the eyes.