• Natalie Gagnon

Why do we feel better after a good cry?

Our emotional health is just as important as our physical. I’ve been doing some reading lately on topics and area’s I have an interest in, but I’m broadening my knowledge on researching other ways and means of getting information on these topics. This past week I had some ups and downs, highs and definite lows. It lead my mind and interests into delving into emotions and researching them. One thing that captured my attention was Traditional Chinese Medicine and their take on emotion. My interest was peaked when I read an article and study on why we feel better after a good cry. There is a reason WHY we feel like this.

To break it down; stress plays a big role on our health. But not only does stress, all emotions do and one that stands out is anger. The study I read was about Harvard researchers analyzing angry outbursts. These outbursts makes us almost 5 times more likely to have a heart attack, and almost 3 times more likely to have a stroke. It’s been said that heart attacks are associated with the blood vessels and circulatory system, true… but there is a Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine that shows us that the liver is the mother of the heart.

Why this matters is because when we are holding grudges or under continual stress our liver energy becomes compromised. When this happens it cannot offer support to the heart. Interestingly enough, our eyes are not usually seen as a detox pathway. But really, they are. I’ve been to an irdeologist before and I know a lot can be told from our eyes! One being the health of our liver and how clear the whites of our eyes appear, as well as the brightness of the skin around the eyes. Due to anger being stored in the liver, crying can be extremely therapeutic in releasing pent up emotions and cleansing the liver.

Just as other exocrine processes in which a substance comes out of the body (think exhaling, urinating, defecating, and sweating) these processes allow for the release toxic substances from the body. We really can’t hold them in… when you need to, you go! When you sweat, you can’t try to hold it in! Same applies to crying. There is a reason these emotions are trying to get out, they are trying to purge. We are releasing chemicals that the body produces in response to stress. You may be wondering what I mean by chemicals, through research I learned that there are three types of tears. Basal, reflex, and emotional tears. The basal tears never actually leave our eyes, they serve a purpose of lubricating, and protecting our eyes. Reflex tears protect from irritants, like wind or smoke. Now the emotional tears are the tears produced by emotion. The reflex tears are 98% water, but emotional tears contained many more toxic by-products and stress hormones.

So this all started making sense, I researched further and found out that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, so we feel better because it’s our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones being released. So when we have built up anger or stress and are holding it in we are taxing our liver. Some people claim they are too stressed to eat, too stressed to sleep, they feel sick to their stomach… yes, this is our liver acting up. So when we are under that stress or anger and finally let it out through tears, we are detoxing our liver. We are purging emotions and toxins.

So the next time you have this built up anger frustration, or stress, you don’t have to hold it in. You’re no bigger nor stronger for doing so, just let it out. Detox!

Natalie Gagnon

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