When we are little we cry openly but as we get older and become adults our eyes fill with tears and we automatically cover our faces with our hands hoping that, hopefully, no one sees us in that state.
From an anthropological point of view, we can travel to the origins of the human being to observe how babies communicated with their mothers through crying to report the presence of pain, hunger or cold, among many others. It was his only way to ask for help since at such a young age we do not know how to speak. Actually, today, nothing has changed in babies, but what about adults?
the benefits of crying in adults there is not a single theory about it, although as Gonzalo Villanueva, a psychologist from
Mundopsicologos.com, in the studies carried out to date there seems to be unanimity that «crying brings some relief» in the people who live it, although we don’t like to live it with everyone, as is also logical.
Why do we cry?
According to psychologist Laura Rodríguez, from the
Cepsim psychological center, crying is a form of expression and does not fulfill a single specific function: «We tend to think that we only cry when something causes us great pain or suffering, but tears appear as a reaction to multiple situations».
Therefore, crying is a way to release and channel anger, nostalgia, sorrow, joy and a long list of emotions. It allows us to bring out what we feel and is a form of communication. In fact, it has several functions:
– physiological, protection and hydration of the eyes.
– painkillers: provides us with serenity, acting as natural pain relievers and bringing the body to a state of tranquility and balance.
– From self-knowledge: crying increases positive feelings and allows us to get to know each other better. At that moment when our vulnerability emerges, we can ask ourselves what is affecting us, what these tears may indicate, what we need from ourselves and from the people who are part of our environment.
– From communication: tears call for the empathy of the other and enable us to report our needs. The social function of crying is related to the search for comfort and support; When we see someone cry, empathy and the need to care for and meet the needs of the other are activated in us. We see this social function of crying more clearly with babies who cry to obtain the attention of adults in charge of satisfying their needs.
Gonzalo Villanueva points out that emotions, pleasant or not, exist to fulfill an adaptive function: «Crying communicates our emotions and activates an empathic response in those who perceive it. It could be said that our crying seeks to provoke in others a reaction of approach and care».
However, the peculiarity of the individual will also affect the way in which crying is experienced. There are those who need to connect with their sadness and be able to release their tension through crying, but there are also those who interpret it as a weakness and avoid it at all costs. «Currently it is common to find people (especially men) who go to therapy because they feel they have not overcome a duel because they have not cried. In this sense, the masculine gender carries a cultural stereotype that makes it difficult for them to express their emotions through crying”, explains the psychology expert.
Have you cried for a while and then felt exhausted? Laura Rodríguez warns that this is very likely to happen “because of the energy expenditure what it has meant for our brain” and we will also need to eat and rest to recover. Regarding the emotional level, he assures that “it helps us to restore the Balance».
«When faced with a very strong emotion of sadness, joy or anger, we cry and we can feel how the tension that previously produced that emotion loosens and gives way to a feeling of tranquility, “he explains. In addition, crying has a transformative effect by helping us release tension and producing that calming effect. “More positive thoughts are usually generated,” he says.
It is when we cry when we fully accept the emotion felt and let ourselves be carried away by what the body asks of us. However, on a social level, this demonstration of our emotion is not always welcomed… «Crying together with a close person provokes in this tenderness, care and empathy towards the one who cries, but doing it in a group can cause annoyance and discomfort”, says the psychologist Villanueva.