In my case, every time I watch re-runs of Dawson’s Creek.
Statistically, women cry on average 47 times per year (and men only 7) with each bout of tears lasting around 6 minutes.
No matter the gender, here are three very good reasons to embrace the water works:
- It makes you feel better
Ok, so this may seem a little obvious. But did you now that the University of Florida found crying is more effective than any antidepressant on the market? So much so that many counsellors now use “induced weeping” as a form of therapy.
A well as being psychologically ‘cleansing’ to let emotions out, the act of crying releases a mineral called manganese. Manganese affects mood and is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood.
2. Reduces stress
When we’re upset or stressed there is an imbalance of chemicals in the body responsible for raising cortisol (the stress hormone). When we cry, the tears flush out these chemicals therefore helping us calm down. However, this isn’t the case for all types of tears (think cutting onions or getting something stuck in your eye – these irritant tears don’t contain very much manganese).
Being vulnerable and allowing yourself to cry around a partner or friend will bring you closer. New evidence suggests that crying developed as an evolutionary mechanism designed to send signals to others and bring people together.
So go on. Have a good cry.