I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO
Researchers have dubbed the tears shed when we are sad or angry as "emotional tears". These tears contain hormones and toxins that our body produces when we are stressed. Manganese, a mineral that has been shown to affect mood, is also found in higher concentrations in these emotional tears. Adrenocorticotropic hormone is also released in emotional tears. At high levels, this hormone stimulates cortisol production. Cortisol, as many know, is a key factor in weight gain, depression, and cardiovascular disease. When we cry, the tears that are released carry a number of stress-related by-products away with them. And all tears are not created equal. Those produced to clear foreign particles like dust or an eyelash away from our eyes are called "reflex tears". Unlike emotional tears, they do not contain these stress-related substances.
The act of crying itself triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, and releases endorphins, studies reveal. The end result of a "good cry"can therefore be a calming, sedative, restoration of balance. Muscle tension can be released through crying. Some people are relaxed to the point of being able to fall into a deep, restful sleep as a result of an emotional cry.
Consistently suppressing the urge to cry, as a life pattern, can exacerbate physical health disorders. Withholding tears can increase the stress level that already exists in the body because of the source of your anger or sadness. The refusal to cry can be a form of avoidance that prevents you from fully facing the source of your pain. As a result, you can prolong your ability to get through and beyond the pain.
Crying can offer a physical and emotional release that can assist in the healing of the psyche, as well as the body. A good cry can definitely be a good thing.