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Taking a ‘Boo-Hoo’ moment – the benefits of crying with your friends

Men, women, boys, girls …… did you know it’s ok to cry?  In fact crying is good. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach before it rises up to form a lump in your throat? Those feelings are there for a reason and are just the manifestation before the tears start to flow, so don’t push it down, don’t stop the flow, let it out, it’s ok. 

In fact… sometimes there’s nothing more healing than a good cry to make you feel better.

Our society still views crying (especially for men) as a sign of weakness, but it’s actually a quite evolved behaviour.  It shows the ability to be vulnerable and also gives you permission to become closer to those with whom you are sharing your emotions.

Today is #InternationalFriendshipDay and yes… crying is good for you but actually crying WITH someone else is proven to have even better benefits! Having a friend who you can share a laugh with is easy to find, but one to cry with without judgment is priceless!

Why is crying with friends good for you?

Crying is good for your physical health

There are many health benefits that come from the release of crying. Research shows that 85% of men and 73% of women felt less angry or sad after crying.

  • Tears can also help remove stress hormones built up in our bodies during emotional duress.

  • Crying has been found to lower blood pressure and pulse rate immediately following therapy sessions during which patients cried and vented.

  • Crying removes toxins from the body. Tears help humans eliminate chemicals like cortisol that build up during emotional stress and can wreak havoc on the body.

  • It also reduces the body’s manganese level, a mineral which increases anxiety and aggression.

Crying reduces stress

Chronic stress can increase the risk of heart attack, damage certain areas of the brain, contribute to digestive issues like ulcers, and can cause tension headaches and migraines, amongst other health issues. Our ability to cry has tangible value to our continued health, as in releasing a pressure cooker valve.

Crying promotes bonding

Crying acknowledges your feelings. When you cry with a trusted friend/partner you allow them to feel and see what you’re experiencing. Emotions help us to be empathetic and feel closer to one another thereby helping us feel more like a “team”. Crying serves an important social function. Crying with your friends solidifies the strength of your friendship, elicits sympathy and draws you closer to one another.

Friends who can cry together are closer and trust each other more

Your true friends will lend you their shoulder in your time of need. They won’t judge or shame your tears. There is something so therapeutic about being able to cry with another person than by yourself. When we share our pain with our friends, we feel a different sort of emotional relief from letting out the tears.

Having someone cry with you validates your pain, and although it may hurt more, we can begin the process of overcoming hardship sooner when we are able to find peace. 

 

A study published in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology collected data from 2,181 men and 2,915 women living in 35 various countries. They found that many had a common experience: crying with someone made them more cathartic.

“If friends are crying about a shared experience and are mutually supporting each other, it can be beneficial.  Seeing another person cry can also help one feel one’s own emotions are a valid and reasonable response,” explains the lead author of the study, Lauren M. Bylsma to Elite Daily.

So, if your friend decides to open up and pour his or her heart (and eyes) out, it is surely a huge compliment. It means they consider you a good friend. We need someone to have our backs who understand that crying isn’t weakness and that being vulnerable is good for us. 

Maybe our world is completely falling apart around us, but sharing it with our friends will help us realise that we’ll always recover somehow.

Does crying with your friends make you feel better? Do you find it hard to open up to others? Does it make you feel strong or weak? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this… Let’s talk about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

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