Eyes in the wet: when it’s good to cry and not

If you let emotions go, it does in some cases alleviate suffering, but sometimes it can only aggravate them.

“Crying brings relief,” claimed the Roman poet Ovdiy. “Tears soften and carry away grief.” Many women love to cry. Men confess this less often, although they are not ashamed of the tears from a touching film.

When crying is useful

Aristotle compared the impact of the tragedy on the minds of the audience with the influence of a drink that purifies the body and soul. Freud used the Greek term "catharsis" - the release of the brain from negative emotions. Psychotherapist Michael Bader from San Francisco reminds us that when we watch a movie, we cry when the conflict is resolved at the very end, and not during dramatic episodes. Psychoanalyst Joseph Weiss explained this in the article “Weeping at a happy end”: tears come out when we feel safe. Modern psychotherapy is based on a key beliefthat we are all victims of children's emotions and thoughts and must relive them in a secure relationship.

Bader, for example, often asks his patients what they cry from the movies. Standard answer: a parent, partner or friend understood the hero and offered him protection or his love. If patients could express this need, they would feel more sorry for themselves and move more freely towards their goals.

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In his book “The Look Through Tears,” Judy Nelson claims that over 70% of psychologists and psychiatrists actively promote crying as a means of therapy. It is known that during crying, pulse and respiration increase, which then slow down. According to one theory, tears from emotions help the body get rid of stress hormones and other toxic substances, but this idea has not yet been confirmed by research,.

Psychologists at the University of South Florida conducted a thorough study of more than 2,000 men and almost 3,000 women in 35 countries. Most of them claimed that they felt better after crying, especially if they were comforted by someone, and the painful event was in the past.

When to cry is bad

However, there are arguments against crying.After all, usually when people comfort each other, they say: "Do not cry." And this is not the worst advice. In laboratory tests, people crying on a sad film reported that they subsequently felt worse than those who did not cry. The diaries of 97 women were also studied, according to which only 30% of the cases of crying had a beneficial effect. Some people try their best to cry to make them feel better, while others also try hard not to cry, so as not to feel worse.

The least likely positive effect of crying in people suffering from depression or not aware of the cause of their experiences.

Photo: Getty Images

Sometimes crying can bring people together, for example, at a funeral or in the joint grief experience of a couple. But in other cases, it can cause irritation and hostility.

Life is such that most people do not want to see our tears, even if they are their cause.


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