Crying Helps Reduce Stress?!

According to an article I found on Psychology Today, stress is a psychological perception of pressure as well as, the body’s response to it. Stress can be often triggered during a fight or flight response (automatic response system). As one becomes stressed, their heartbeat may start to increase, a rush of hormones may begin to circulate throughout their body, and they may become hyper-focused on the stimulus that triggered their stress. Stress can also have harmful consequences on one’s health. Such as anxiety, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, heart disease, and much more.

There are many known ways to help manage and decrease the amount of stress in one’s life. Such as yoga, meditation, exercise, therapy, etc. The most well-known way to help de-stress is to simply change one’s stressful mindset, right? Well… There’s another way.

As college students, we all tend to get stressed very easily. The challenge of being stressed is figuring out a way to unstress. As you may already know, you can’t just flip a switch to turn off the stress.

As I researched the Googley (Google) for any new findings related to Cognitive Psychology, I found this article about the effects crying has on stress. According to the article, crying once a week helps to reduce one’s stress and ultimately, live a stress-free life. High school teacher Hidefumi Yoshida (also known as the “tears teacher”), travels across Japan speaking at lectures, and workshops to help better educate people on the psychological benefits of crying. He explains how our parasympathetic nerves are stimulated by factors that make us cry. Such as, listening to sad music, reading sad stories, or watching tear-jerking movies. All these factors would typically make us cry, and as we cry our heart rate decreases. It begins to slow down, our breathing starts to get calmer, and longer. As we cry, our minds go into a soothing place to release the emotions to help de-stress.

A study in 1981, by Dr. William Frey at the University of Minnesota claimed that crying releases endorphins, which promotes feelings of happiness and wellbeing. To add, in another study conducted in 2008, participants found that crying made them feel a lot better in difficult and stressful situations.

In my experience, I find myself being stressed almost 24/7. Whether it’s in regards to education, life, my career, or even my future. I have tried deep breathing techniques, meditation, listening to calm music, and much more. However, I honestly haven’t tried the crying option. Personally, I’m ashamed to cry. I feel like I need to be strong all the time and never show any weakness. Although, that can sometimes make me even more stressed. I know I need to find good ways to de-stress to have a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, one thing I will definitely try the next time I find myself stressed, is to let my tears out. This way my body and my mind can simultaneously slow down, feel everything, and just de-stress. I encourage you to try this de-stressifying technique as well, and see how it works for you! 🙂

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/crying-stress-help-week-japan-hidefumi-yoshida-toho-university-a8602691.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/stress

10 thoughts on “Crying Helps Reduce Stress?!

  1. victoriarulapaugh

    I have been in multiple situations throughout my life where I have been so stressed to the point I cry. A lot of the time, I end up feeling much better afterwards. It feels like a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. If crying once a week is supposed to reduce stress levels then I guess i’m doing the right thing:) College has been an emotional roller coaster for me and to gain new knowledge about this makes me feel a little bit better. I really appreciated this blog post, it was very educational as well as relatable.

    1. iloaiza Post author

      AHHH! I loved this comment! <3 I'm glad it resonated with you! And yes! You are doing the right thing by crying lol! Personally, I grew up with the pressures to be strong, to hide my emotions, and to cry as little as possible. Therefore, I can often feel ashamed of crying. Crying is the body's natural way of reacting to certain situations. So its especially important to encourage crying to help release the negative energies to reduce stress. Rather than keeping one's emotions and feelings under wraps and contained.

  2. kaygoss

    I’m a crier. Much like you, I feel extremely stressed all the time. Between work, school, marriage and the million other things going on in my life some times I just need to cry. 9 times out of 10 I feel better after I do. I think it’s because I take on so many things throughout the day and especially in my field of work, I can’t decompress immediately. So often times I have to wait until I get home and that is usually a full 12 to 24 hours later depending on my shift.

    1. iloaiza Post author

      Yes, I feel that 100%! Life is not easy. When things get more challenging, we need to take a step back from it all. We need to take deep breaths, cry, scream, pretty just anything to allow us to calm down from the situation. Same as you, I feel crying doesn’t always seem to help in the moment of the situation. However, it has been known as a way to slow one’s mind and heart rate to help one be calm and collected.

  3. ejones9

    I always find blog posts that relate to our experiences as college students interesting, mainly because I always learn things useful to my daily life. Crying is a stress reliever that often goes unmentioned when we think of ways to reduce the affects of stressors we come across everyday, and I feel like crying should be normalized in society. This is especially true with the male population who are often encouraged to do anything else except cry. Anyways, I think you did a great job!

  4. kownbey

    I totally feel this post! I feel like I hear the phrase “I need a good cry” all the time from people, especially from myself. This post can definitely prove people’s point that sometimes you really do need a “good cry”! I always feel like crying after a stressful time helps me feel less stressed, even though crying usually holds a sort of negative connotation for some. I personally think that crying is a great technique; I’m glad it has some science behind it! Thank you!

  5. swills

    This post made me feel a lot better about the amount of times I cry! I didn’t know about the actual physiological effects it has! Most of the time my crying is the result of stress or overstimulation, and I just let it all go. But maybe if I took on the practice of crying intentionally every now and then, it would be a good way of dealing with the stress I have in a controlled way before it explodes out of me at a very inconvenient moment. Crying is something we learn as babies to do to communicate, but also as a kind of self-soothing mechanism, so it makes sense that that function would carry on into our adulthood!

  6. ellsonke

    While I don’t cry very often, I find that it exhausts me more than I’d say it relaxes me. My body tends to tense up and by the end of the crying session, I’m usually very tired and thus not as spun up as I was before. It’s almost like my body is hitting the reset button or something, like the crying is the static when the signal is lost. But you’ve cited some very interesting research! There’s actually a biological basis behind crying, it seems.

  7. slevendo

    I can totally relate to this post! When college, work or even life gets overwhelming I can’t help but cry. While it may seem like an act for attention for people, I like how your blog post is informative about the benefits of it.

  8. sbalenger

    This was a very interesting post. I am also highly stressed 24/7 and it seems never ending. While I regularly engage in self care activities to help decrease my stress, I’ve never been told or heard to cry regularly. If my stress gets to be too much I cry. I call that my tipping point. I get so overwhelmed and my back and neck hurt so badly that I just breakdown, but that doesn’t happen too often with other measures in place. Maybe I will try crying once a week and see if that helps the tension in my back and neck since that’s where I hold all of stress.

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