Healthy Living

Cry Your Eyes Out: 10 Reasons Crying Is Good For You

Emotional tears contain stress hormones

There are actually three types of tears — basal, reflex, and emotional — and while they all contain salts, water, and various amounts of antibodies and proteins at their basic foundations, their chemical compositions are where they deviate, especially emotional tears. Scientists have studied tears triggered by different events and feelings at the microscopic level and have found some interesting data: when we cry due to emotional discomfort, such as sorrow, anger, or grief, our tears contain significantly high levels of certain stress hormones. These include prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, Leu-enkephalin, potassium and manganese, all of which negatively affect our mood and natural biology (i.e., triggering the fight-or-flight response). These chemicals, which build up into overabundance when we’re upset, are excreted through emotional tears; they act as the body’s waste removal for excess hormones. So, crying is nothing to be ashamed of because it is a natural self-care activity that is important for our emotional wellbeing.