Big Girls SHOULD Cry: 3 Health Benefits from Tears

You know that fun song Fergie sings,”…and big girls don’t cry,” well…she’s lying.  We ALL cry!  Yep, it is in our female chromosome to just let it all out sometimes in a mess flowing mascara and runny snot. Did you know that on average women cry 47 times a year and men a mere seven (that explains a lot!)?  So don’t feel like you have to hold it all in.  There are reasons we have tears, 3 reasons actually, so let me break it down for you…

1) Emtional/Stress-related Tears

There is an important chemical difference between emotional or stress-related tears and those simply caused by physical irritants like cutting onions. Emotional tears actually contain certain protein-based hormones that act as a natural painkiller which is produced by our body when under stress.

2) Basal Tears

These are the tears that we need all the time because they are “in partnership” with our eyeball. Basal tears consist of the layer of protective fluid covering our eyeballs. Without it our eyes would be in danger of drying out and become susceptible to bacterial attack and/or eventually go blind.

3) Reflex Tears

These are the tears that protect our eyes from irritants and foreign bodies, such as dust or getting rid of the acidic fumes when cutting onions. These tears wash away the irritant and drain it from the eye.

Inner Beauty Thoughts: Crying can help to wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel much better after a good cry. Higher levels of adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) have been found in emotional tears (compared to reflex tears). Removing this chemical from the body is beneficial because it triggers cortisol, the stress hormone – too much of which can lead to health problems associated with stress.

When you’re upset and stressed, you have an imbalance and build up of chemicals in the body and crying helps to reduce that. So go ahead and choose a safe place, find the courage to face those emotions and go ahead and let it all out…you’ll love the inner beauty cleanse once the tears wash away.

*Remember that  frequent crying is not always good for you and can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and postnatal depression. If you are experiencing more than a ‘good ol’ fashion cry’ every now and then, please reach out to a professional to get you back on track.

Outer Beauty Thoughts: If it looks as though a giant mosquito mixed with a bag of onions ambushed your eye area after crying, then follow these tips to reduce those cried-out puffy eyes:

  • Apply cool damp teabags to your closed eyelids. Regular black tea reduces swelling better than herbal tea does. Leave the teabags in place for at least 15 minutes to reduce inflammation.

  • Apply cool cucumber slices to your closed eyelids, a traditional remedy for puffy eyelids and dark circles. Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients that help soothe irritated skin around the eyes. If you don’t have a cucumber on hand, you can use cool potato or apple slices.

  • Avoid eating salty food after crying. Although you might be tempted to indulge in a big bag of potato chips for food therapy, salt makes the body retain water and works against your goal of preventing puffy eyes.

 

 

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