The Benefits Of A Good Cry (& What To Do When The Tears Won't Come)

Crying is a very natural process and is part of what makes us human.  Per the American Psychological Association, many of us cry at least 30 times per year. From this estimate alone, it's clear to see that many of us enjoy releasing the waterworks every now and again — a reassuring reflection that many of us are well in tune with our emotions. However, that's not all. Crying is actually very beneficial and can help you way more than you think. In particular, it can provide you with some much-needed relief. If that isn't a reason to get those tears flowing, then we don't know what is.

While crying may come a lot more easily to some than others, that doesn't mean that those with backed-up tear ducts are without hope. Even if you find it challenging to cry, it's still achievable. All you need to do is know how to deploy the correct techniques and invoke some appropriate triggers. Some common situations where individuals may find themselves crying include going through a divorce or perhaps dealing with some personal mental health issues. Either way, there are plenty of reasons why people cry. Below, we'll dive deeper into the world of crying and show you how to best handle this natural emotional state.

Crying can bring you relief

Crying is a natural human process so you shouldn't feel ashamed. But despite this, there are still a lot of individuals who are hesitant to release the floodgates, whether it be alone or in front of others. Maybe you're a private person, or maybe you find the act of crying to be too vulnerable and uncomfortable. But there's no reason why you should feel shame around this particular emotional state. Diving deeper into the topic, board-certified ophthalmologist Diane Hilal-Campo, M.D. explained to Real Simple that "emotional tears are unique in that they contain proteins and hormones not found in basal secretion or reflex tears. These 'additives' can have relaxing or pain-relieving properties that help regulate the body and return it to its prior state." In more simple terms, crying can help to bring you relief and will help you to release any stress or grief you're feeling in a healthy, controlled nature. So if you let yourself cry, you're actually helping yourself feel better. 

Of course, crying in front of someone you know and trust can also help signal to them that you probably need extra emotional support, whether in the form of a hug or just someone to talk to. It's a form of communication in itself. For some people, this can be seen as a benefit. However, what if the tears just won't come out? Thankfully, there's a solution for that too.

How to make yourself cry

If you find that you often struggle with releasing your emotions, you're certainly not alone. There are plenty of people who find it difficult to open up. However, now you know that crying can benefit you, how can you get those tears flowing? There are some tricks that might help.

If you find that you're feeling teary-eyed, but no tears will come out, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Lena Suarez-Angelino recommended "[trying] yawning a few times in a row to wake up the tear ducts. This may be helpful to get your body to cry" (via Women's Health). Although it may sound like a strange thing to do, some find that it helps. It may also help to reflect back on a particularly emotional memory during a difficult period of your life — a technique that is often used by actors to cry on demand during filming. While it could take some practice, it could allow you to loosen up and find it easier to cry. If you're ever feeling down on yourself, there are some great mental health podcasts that can help you feel less alone. Likewise, you can always check in with your medical provider if you have any specific concerns about your emotional state. Releasing your emotions in a calm and controlled way will not only benefit you, but it will benefit everyone around you too.