We’ve all heard the saying, “boys don’t cry,” but let’s face it, that is neither true nor fair because everyone cries. In recent decades, the trend has been to make men feel like it’s okay for them to cry, and this is a good thing.
The truth is, crying is natural and even has certain physical and psychological advantages, and this article will take a look at some of them.
Is It Wrong for Men to Cry?
It is never wrong for men to cry. Crying can’t be helped, in fact, in many situations. If someone you love dies or even if you find yourself in a lot of pain for some reason, crying is a natural reaction and it’s very difficult to stop it from happening. No one, men included, should ever take crying as a sign of weakness because it is so normal and natural.
Most of the time, if men feel like crying is a sign of weakness or too “girlie,” it is due to the way they were raised and the things they were told while they were growing up, and that’s unfortunate. In difficult situations, they may hold back and stop themselves from crying, which can directly affect their health in a negative way, especially if they do this frequently.
There Are Many Advantages to Crying
A lot of studies have been done on the effects of crying, proving that the act of shedding tears offers lots of advantages, both physically and emotionally. They include the following:
- It Relieves Stress
Tears contain stress hormones and certain other chemicals, so when those chemicals and hormones are released, you’ll simply feel much better psychologically. There is additional research needed to confirm this, however, but as of now this seems to be the way it works.
- It Can Alleviate Certain Bacteria
Tears contain a liquid called lysozyme, and lysozyme has antimicrobial properties. Why is this important? In 2011, a study was done that proved antimicrobial liquids might possibly reduce the risks associated with certain bioterrorist agents, including anthrax.
- It Can Improve Your Vision
Basal tears keep the eyes moist and prevent the mucous membranes from becoming too dry. When that happens, vision can become blurry, so keeping the eyes moist and therefore better able to see clearly is one of the advantages of a person crying.
- It Has a Very Soothing Effect
Simply put, crying allows people to cleanse themselves emotionally. It reduces the distress they’re feeling, calms them down a little bit, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps the crier relax and become much more subdued.
- It Can Relieve Your Pain
When you cry, it releases both oxytocin and endorphins, which can help you feel better physically as well as emotionally. Both types of pain can be eased through crying. Crying also increases your sense of well-being and makes you feel good about yourself as a result.
- It May Help You Sleep
Research has shown that in babies, sleep is much easier to obtain after a good cry, and it may very well be the same with adults. Considering how much calmer and how much better you feel after you cry, it is not difficult to believe that it can also help you sleep better.
- It Lifts Your Spirits
When you are hurting emotionally or physically, it’s natural to feel a little depressed, but a good cry can help you feel better and therefore lift your spirits and improve your mood significantly. Even better, the effects are usually instantaneous.
- It Enhances the Support of Others
Crying is known as having an interpersonal or social benefit. Most significantly, crying helps you gain the support of others so you don’t feel so alone in your anguish. This can also contribute to the other emotional and even physical effects of a nice long cry.
Other Things to Keep in Mind About Crying
Crying is not a sign of weakness and can help you deal with all sorts of emotions, even complicated ones. Since men are twice as likely as women to commit suicide, it’s obvious that they are not always dealing with their emotions the way they need to – and the way they deserve to do. This is partly due to the societal norm that men “are not supposed to cry.”
Sometimes, men abstain from crying not because they consider it a weakness but because they feel like they need to be the strong one that other people rely on in times of stress. In many ways, this is admirable, but just like women, men also need to take good care of themselves so that they can be there emotionally for their family and friends.
In fact, if you’re a man who’s still hesitant to cry when you get upset, think of crying as self-care and something that can help you grow and feel better both emotionally and physically.
Both men and women need to cry, so it’s good to know that the social norms are changing somewhat to allow men to feel less awkward about crying when something is wrong. Crying provides many advantages, including both physical and psychological perks, and besides, sometimes it simply cannot be helped.
So feel free to cry when you’re sad, in pain, or even if you’re happy. It’ll do both your body and soul a lot of good and make you feel much better both psychologically and physically. There are simply too many benefits to ignore!