J Henry Counseling, located in Conway, Arkansas offers Christian counseling services to help you navigate all stages of life. Their approach is to create treatments that are tailored to your specific needs, situations, relationship dynamics, and comfort level. On her podcast, Let’s Unravel That, Jennifer talks about the power of a good cry and why you shouldn’t be afraid to let the tears flow.

It’s Okay to Cry

Crying is an automatic, natural human response, but as a society, we sometimes look at crying as a sign of emotional weakness, especially in men. Interestingly, however, up to the age of 12, girls and boys tend to cry at a similar frequency. After the age of twelve, girls do tend to cry more than boys, which can be attributed to puberty. Once men get older, though, they are actually likely to cry more than women.

Likewise, we associate crying to be a sign of stress or despair. While this may be an accurate association, a study showed that 88% of people feel better after they cry. People also reported that they felt less aggressive, less irritated, and more relaxed after they cried. 

Benefits to a Good Cry

Let’s break down three types of tears:

Basal Tears

Basal tears are tears made up of water. These tears protect the cornea and serve as a lubricant. Without basal tears, our eyes would dry up. When we experience dust, follicles, or debris in our eyes Basal tears will appear and clear our eyes.

Reflex Tears

Reflex tears are made up of 98% water. The human body will make these tears as a reflex to a stimulus. For example, if you get something in your eye, the reflex tears will help clear it out of your eye.

Emotional Tears

When your body needs relief, the chemicals in emotional tears are there to help bring relief. Emotional tears are made up of 70+ unique chemicals and are equivalent to a pain killer. When we hold back tears our pain grows and our mood starts to shift. After we have a good cry, our mood will start to improve and our breathing and heart rate will decrease. Emotional tears also release toxins from our bodies, in the same way, sweating releases them. When we’re under stress, we build up toxic chemicals. It is actually believed that one of the reasons men cry less than women is because they sweat more than women.

Step Away from the Cultural Norms

In our culture, crying has been labeled as a sign of emotional immaturity or perhaps weakness, but when we push back our tears, we are doing our bodies a disservice. Embracing vulnerability is not always easy, whether you are a man or a woman. If you need someone to help you navigate through your emotions, reach out to J Henry Counseling in Conway, Arkansas. We would love to walk this journey together.