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In fact crying is not only a perfectly healthy thing to do, but it’s also a sign of strength and resilience. Here are four reasons why you should feel empowered, not pathetic, after crying.

 You Know How to Relieve Stress : A 1983 study from the American Psychological Association showed that most people feel more relieved after crying that was due to stress from interpersonal relationships and anxious or sad thoughts. Crying is one of the best ways to channel and filter out the thoughts and events that cause us worry or grief. Bottling up your emotions by holding back the tears can lead to long-term psychological damage that we’ll discuss later on. When we cry, we are releasing negative tension that builds up from our day to day lives, allowing us to feel comforted and recharged so that we can pick ourselves back up afterward. Emotional tears also contain hormones that escape our body that could improve our mood after crying.

You Aren’t Afraid of Your Feelings : Human beings cry for all sorts of reasons; hormonal imbalances, anger, loss, loneliness, stress, and low blood sugar are just some of the many reasons we weep. Sometimes it’s something that seems trivial like a sad movie or a nostalgic song, and often times we don’t even know the root cause of why we’re crying. The important part of it is that you are acknowledging your emotions and confronting them head on. Not facing negative feelings can risk leading you down a dark path; alcoholism, depression, anxiety disorder, drug abuse or any kind of unhealthy compulsive behavior can stem from a refusal to face one’s emotions.

Crying Makes You a Better Friend : We talked earlier about “letting down your emotional guard.” This does more than send people a message that you’re strong; it shows your friends and family that you are honest and open when faced with adversity.

If you’re in a situation where you are with a friend, and both of you received some upsetting news, taking the first step in crying will allow other people to feel comfortable expressing their own emotions. Those who accept sadness when it stares them in the face allow others to do the same.

Crying makes you learn about who your true friends are, as well. Those who avoid you or bring you down when you already feel your most vulnerable are probably people you should consider removing from your life.

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