You might remember back when you were a kid how your mom always told you to stop crying. You’ve probably heard a parent at some time in your life tell his kids, “Stop that crying, it doesn’t do any good” or “Stop crying or else I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Seriously, if a child is crying, it’s a clue he’s already got something to cry about. Depending on the era you grew up, your parents might have handled kids crying in some pretty creative ways. Frankly, crying is really no big deal. In fact, many experts believe crying has some usefulness to our lives.

Did you know that crying has a scientific name? It’s called “lacrimation.” Most people haven’t heard it. Even so, every person on earth has shed tears at some time in his life. Crying is one experience that every human being has shared.

Why People Cry

Crying really doesn’t hurt or damage a situation or people. Crying is a healthy expression of emotions. Particularly for children, experiencing feelings you don’t understand can be pretty confusing. And those feelings of confusion and frustration can quite easily be expressed by crying.

Some people cry when they’re sad or melancholy. Others cry when they’re frustrated or angry. Still, there are those who cry when they’re afraid. Whatever the reason, emotionally healthy people do feel the need to cry occasionally.

Do You Allow Yourself to Cry?

If you’ve ever experienced feeling like you want to cry yet holding in your tears, you know how uncomfortable it can be. What were you experiencing at those times? It practically makes a person feel physically ill to withhold crying even though the emotions and body are sending signals that it’s time to cry.

“If you don’t allow yourself to cry, you’ll never be able to smile.” – Magister Negi Magi

Interestingly, contrary to what many people think, when a person cries, it tends to last for just a few short minutes. Once the initial troubling feelings are expressed, they’re released.

The act of crying has a calming effect on the body as one’s breathing often slows down. After shedding tears, you’re then free to go on with your day.

Crying and the Grief Process

It’s natural to experience sad and lonely feelings related to a loss of someone or something important. During grieving, you might cry periodically over a few days, weeks, or months. Between crying episodes, you might feel fine. However, the grief eventually returns.

Grief has a way of washing over you in waves. But then, minutes later, you’re feeling better. When grieving, sometimes a good cry is all you need to release troubling emotions for the moment. Over time, you’ll feel less and less like crying.

Research on Crying

Recent research reported on the Science Daily website indicates that two-thirds of people studied reported feeling a boost in their moods after crying. The study also deduced that people who have diagnosed mental health conditions of anxiety or other mood disorders might not feel better after crying. In summary, healthy people who cry feel better when they’re finished crying.

Consider crying a normal part of life that will occasionally happen. Let go of your fears regarding crying. However, in the event you or a person you know is crying practically daily for several hours each day or not feeling any better after a “good cry,” it’s probably time to check with your doctor to ensure you nip in the bud any conditions requiring attention.

Go ahead and let yourself cry if you feel like it – you’ll feel calmer afterward and be ready to confront your day with a renewed passion and motivation.