Some of the obvious benefits of crying will be itemised below so as to define in bold relief what science has found in connection with it.
1) Crying has been variously described by many workers in the behavioural science community as primarily an attachment behaviour that helps the crying person to attract both sympathy and emotional support from others around them. In this connection, its social benefit is well recognised as an important part of the healing process. It also helps in an immediate way to deal with sudden grief especially by helping to bring about calm and some self-control.
2) As a follow up on the first reason above, crying does help a lot of people to achieve some emotional balance following tragedy and loss. It improves the mood by increasing the production oxytocin, a hormone also released during orgasm primarily in women. Furthermore, oxytocin and endorphins can also help improve the ability to handle physical pain. For this reason, these hormones are also called the “feel good” hormones.
3) When people cry in response to stress, their tears are said to contain a number of stress hormones. Other chemicals are also a part of the secretions. Some researchers believe that the very act of crying reduces the levels of these hormones and chemicals in the body and therefore help to reduce stress. As women tend to cry more often than men, therefore, they become more adept at controlling their stress and looking healthier than men of a similar age and circumstance. They simply achieve that by crying more often.
4) When basal tears are secreted, they are released every time we blink and they thus help to keep the eyes moist by lubricating the mucous membranes. By doing so, the eyeballs are prevented from drying out and the resulting wetness actually helps the eyes to see objects more precisely. If the membranes do not get this kind of lubrication and they get to dry up, the vision becomes blurred and the eyes could even become damaged.
5) Crying is said to help in killing bacteria by virtue of containing a fluid known as lysozyme, an agent with such antibacterial potency that it was found in a 2011 study to be powerful enough to contain a powerful organism like anthrax, a potential agent of bioterrorism.
6) In a landmark study in 2014, crying was found to have a genuinely soothing effect on individuals. That study also examined how crying affects the parasympathetic nervous system and thus helps people to relax. The study also found how people are therefore able to regulate their own emotions, achieve stability and bring themselves some measure of calm. It is not an easy status to achieve which goes to reinforce the notion that the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system plays an immense role in bringing that state about.
7) In a small study in 2015, it was determined that crying can help babies to sleep better. Whether such an effect is replicable in an adult has not yet been proved or even studied but the thinking at the present time is that the mood improvement and, pain-relieving effects of crying could actually help induce better sleep.
In taking all of this into consideration, there is no doubt that people should let go when they feel like crying; it may prolong life.