About 70 percent of therapists say they believe crying is good for their patients. In times of deep pain, anger and stress, crying can be a healthy coping option. Though more often associated with negative emotions, crying is more than just a symptom of sadness. Research suggests crying is an emotional release mechanism useful to your mental health for a number of reasons.
Catharsis is a type of emotional release where your feelings go through purification or purging. As the main health benefit of crying, catharsis aids you in processing, shedding and draining the negative emotions causing you pain. Though difficult to prove in a lab setting, a study of 196 Dutch women found that nearly 9 in 10 reported feeling better after crying.
While crying is relatively good for you, certain conditions should be met in order to fully reap the positive benefits. For optimal results, having a shoulder to cry on goes a long way. Someone you trust and love will make the feel-good effects of a cry that much stronger by the power of their social support. Also, crying in an appropriate place, a private setting free of judgment and strangers, will allow you to let out a full cry without restraints.
It’s important to note that those with mood disorders are less likely to feel better after a good cry. Tears will often fail to help those with clinical depression or anxiety disorders. With mood disorders, the problem is more complex and calls for professional attention. But even under these circumstances, if you can’t help those tears from falling, let them out. Odds are, they’ll do more good than harm.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.