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Increasing Your Tears: A Guide to Shedding More Tears and the Benefits Thereof

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There are countless reasons we hold back our tears, whether to evade a bully’s notice or maintain professionalism in a high-stakes meeting. We might fear appearing vulnerable or disrupting the mood in tense situations. Yet, shedding tears in a supportive environment can be surprisingly beneficial. Not only does it signal to others that we need help, but it also triggers the release of endorphins and stress, offering relief and a path to healing.

why do we cry in the first place?

The question of why tears accompany intense emotions or physical pain remains a subject of ongoing research. Consensus suggests that crying serves as a social cue, prompting comfort and support from others. However, from an evolutionary standpoint, studying crying proves challenging because humans are unique in this regard—while other animals vocalize distress, only humans produce tears in conjunction with specific facial expressions and bodily reactions.

In general, humans produce three types of tears:

  1. Basal tears, which maintain eye health.
  2. Irritant tears, which flush out harmful substances.
  3. Emotional tears, triggered by strong emotions or pain.

The Benefits of Shedding Tears

As mentioned earlier, the prevailing scientific theory emphasizes the role of crying in fostering empathy and connection among humans. It’s a powerful signal that we need assistance, prompting those around us to respond with care.

Beyond its social function, crying is believed to offer physiological benefits. Research suggests that it can act as a form of self-soothing, potentially relieving pain by releasing opioids and oxytocin. A 2020 study even demonstrated that crying therapy improved emotional well-being and physiological markers in breast cancer survivors. According to grief therapist Gina Moffa, author of “Moving on Doesn’t Mean Letting Go: A Modern Guide to Navigating Loss,” crying serves as a therapeutic release, triggering the release of endorphins and promoting a sense of calm. It can help flush toxins from the body, lower blood pressure, and reduce distress, all while eliciting empathy from others.

While there’s no prescribed schedule for shedding tears, Moffa encourages embracing them in a safe environment.

How to Let the Tears Flow

For those accustomed to suppressing their emotions, allowing oneself to cry may require practice. Moffa suggests various methods to facilitate emotional release, such as creating a playlist of poignant songs, journaling, watching emotionally resonant movies, or engaging in somatic release techniques. However, she emphasizes the importance of ensuring a supportive environment for such activities.

If you’re seeking additional ways to unlock your emotions, consider the following techniques:

  1. Compile a playlist of deeply moving songs.
  2. Explore emotional videos on platforms like TikTok or        YouTube.
  3. Practice somatic self-care exercises.
  4. Listen to poignant podcasts.
  5. Watch films known to evoke tears.
  6. Journal about personal experiences of sadness and grief.
  7. Experiment with yoga poses reputed to release emotional tension, such as Pigeon pose.

By embracing our tears and creating a safe space for emotional expression, we can tap into the healing power of our emotions.