Research into men’s mental health suggests that men who feel as though they are unable to speak openly about emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental illness, thus making it less likely that they will reach out for support.
Displaying behaviour that is considered not “masculine” like crying can stop men from feeling comfortable with showing emotions, even with loved ones.
The benefits of crying are many, and one that often goes unnoticed is its ability to heal your body. Crying is a natural response of humans to emotions like sadness, happiness, grief and frustration. In research, it has been shown that women cry 3.5 times per month on average while men only shed 1.9 times in a month on average.
Why We Cry
Human eyes produce tears because of 3 different reasons:
Basal: Basal tear is a type of tear that constantly secrets after every blinking. It’s rich in protein and an antibacterial liquid that keeps the eye moisturized.
Reflex: Reflex tears are triggered by wind, smoke or onions which irritates the eyes. The tears are released to remove the irritant and protect the eyes.
Emotional: Emotional tears are caused by different types of emotions. These tears contain a high level of stress hormones. Generally, crying refers to this type of tears.
Health Benefits Of Crying
Study shows that crying help reduces stress. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) that helps us relax.
Shedding emotional tears improves moods: it releases oxytocin and endorphins that help to relieve pain. These hormones make us feel good by easing emotional pain and promoting a sense of well-being.
Another study found that crying promotes better sleep. But it is considered that emotional tears improve mood, relieve stress and pain thus, you go to bed calm and less stressed.
Tears contain a fluid named Lysozyme which kills bacteria in the eyes thus keeping the eyes clean. Lysozyme is a powerful antimicrobial property that reduces the risk of anthrax presented by bioterror agents.
Basal tears keep the eyes moisturised and prevent the mucous membranes from getting dried. Apart from that, the lubricating effect of Basal tears helps us to see more clearly. If the mucous membranes dry out then it can make our vision blurry.
But what if you are one of those people who have difficulty crying? Researchers don’t know why some people tend to cry and some people don’t. It’s maybe because of social stigma or hormones.
It is a basic expression of emotion that there may not be a way to get “better” at crying, though you can create optimal conditions for it. The most important thing is not the crying. What is important is paying attention to what you’re feeling whenever you show emotion.
But let us try to cry anyway. Try a few activities. Go watch Schindler’s List right now. Marley & Me could also work.
Just cry, man. Let go.