This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
Crying is an entirely natural aspect of life. Everybody cries, whether it’s at the sight of cute animals, after watching a sad movie, or because of a traumatic or painful experience. Yet, sometimes people cry for no apparent reason, which may result in significant confusion and cause them to wonder if they should reach out to a professional.
If you have a tendency to cry frequently and wonder why that may be the case, you’re most definitely not alone. In this article, we’ll touch upon some common reasons for crying and help you determine when seeking help from a relationship coach or a similar professional may be the best path to take.
Why Do I Cry So Easily?
Some individuals cry when they’re stressed, others cry when reading a heart-breaking book. But for some people, tears may start to flow at the mere hint of an aroused emotion. If you feel like your crying is getting out of hand, you may want to consider the following potential reasons:
Depression is a common mood disorder which tends to entail feelings of sadness and hopelessness often lasting for weeks or even months. Some typical symptoms of depression include persistent gloominess and feelings of worthlessness, low energy levels, and concentration difficulties. Your tears be may linked to depression if:
- You cry often and easily and usually can’t tell why
- You usually don’t cry as much as you do now
- You have difficulty stopping the tears
You may be more prone to cry if the symptoms of depression are on the milder side. Severe depression, on the other hand, often causes difficulties with expressing emotions and crying.
Anxiety And Stress
While most people have periods of stress and worry, anxiety disorders tend to cause excessive nervousness and worry on a regular, or even daily basis. If you experience persistent irritability and edigness, muscle tension, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, or fatigue, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder which might be the cause of your crying.
Personality And Gender
Research shows that gender and personality may have an impact on our tendency to cry. For instance, women seem to cry more frequently than men do. Two possible reasons for this include cultural norms and the fact that testosterone has the potential to inhibit crying.
In addition to gender differences, empathetic and compassionate individuals may cry more often than people who are not as empathetic. Individuals with anxious, obsessive, or insecure tendencies also seem to cry more easily and often.
Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
A condition known as pseudobulbar affect, or PBA for short, tends to cause uncontrollable emotions that often manifest in laughing, anger outbursts, and crying. These uncontrollable emotions that usually don’t match the feelings and experiences of the individual are also referred to as emotional incontinence.
PBA is thought to be related to disturbances or injury to parts of the brain which control emotions. Since PBA has similar symptoms to depression, the two are often confused and misdiagnosed.
Why Do I Cry When I’m Angry?
Have you ever felt tears welling up in your eyes when you’ve heard something that angers you? You just can’t believe how unfair and hurtful the statement is, but when you try to speak, your throat begins to constrict, you feel your face flushing, and the tears start to flow. Why does this happen when you’re not actually sad but furious?
Angry crying is a normal phenomenon, and it actually has a quite clear explanation. When you feel hurt, betrayed, rejected, or humiliated, you’re likely to feel both angry and sad, often at the same time. In fact, scientists believe that angry crying may have an evolutionary purpose: it serves as a distress signal that provokes helpful behaviors in other people.
Is Crying A Sign Of Weakness?
Unfortunately, crying is often associated with insecurity and weakness. We are often told to “buck up” and avoid expressing feelings of sadness openly, especially in social or professional circumstances.
The common conception that crying is a sign of weakness is related to what anthropologists tend to refer to as “display rules”: crying violates our cultural norms for socialization and self-expression. This is why you may be more likely to understand why a person is crying while going through a hard breakup, but get confused and uncomfortable if a coworker or a classmate bursts into tears during a meeting or a lecture.
While it is understandable why crying in public is taboo, it is unfortunate that expression of sadness is usually seen as a negative, shameful thing. In fact, sadness and crying are an important aspect of life, and embracing them may actually help you to become mentally stronger. Crying is not a symptom of weakness – it shows that you are a human with feelings, however inappropriate or embarrassing they may seem.
Is It OK To Cry In A Relationship?
We are often taught to believe that crying in front of our partners is a thing to be avoided. Yet, humans are emotional beings with complicated feelings that sometimes need to be expressed to the people in our lives. Here’s why crying in front of your partner can be beneficial:
- It may show that you truly care about the relationship
- Showing your emotions can help strengthen your relationships
- Vulnerability can be a sign of trust and healthy intimacy
While crying in front of your partner can bring you closer together, frequent heated arguments and crying may be a sign that some of your emotional needs are not met in the relationship. For instance, you may feel bored in your relationship or have trust issues that you may want to work on. Make sure to nurture healthy communication with your partner and consider ways in which you may improve the relationship.
Is Crying Good For Your Mental Health?
Research has shown that crying may benefit both your mind and your body. Here are some ways in which crying can be beneficial for physical and mental health:
- It has detoxifying properties
Tears come in three main forms: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Reflex and continuous tears help keep your eyes safe from infection by lubricating them and clearing out debris. Emotional tears, on the other hand, may help flush out stress hormones and similar toxins from your body.
- It dulls your pain
Crying for extended periods of time releases endorphins, feel-good hormones that help relieve emotional and physical pain. Endorphins produced by crying have a calming effect that can improve overall wellbeing.
- It helps you self-soothe
Thanks to its calming effects, crying is a highly effective self-soothing mechanism. According to research, tears can activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which slows your heart rate and helps you rest.
- It may improve your mood
Crying, and especially sobbing, can also help improve your mood. This is because sobbing entails breathing in cool air, which can regulate and lower your brain’s temperature, helping you relax and lifting your spirits.
- It helps restore emotional balance
Crying is not only a response to sadness; you may also cry when you feel happy, elated, stressed, or scared. Scientists believe that crying can help your body recover from and control strong emotions, restoring your emotional equilibrium.
- It signals distress to others
The evolutionary purpose of crying has a lot to do with attachment and distress signaling, which are a crucial part of creating social bonds. Thus, crying can help you get the support you need from other people.
- It may help you grieve
Grieving often entails feelings of anger, sorrow, numbness, and guilt. While people differ in their ways of dealing with grief, crying has a universal potential to help you process the complex feelings caused by losing a loved one.
While the benefits of crying are undeniable, it is important to be aware of your emotional state and try to tell when your crying has become extreme. If you cry so frequently that it’s starting to affect your daily life, reaching out to a professional may be the best course of action.
Seek Support From An Insightful Remote Relationship Coach
When you feel vulnerable and alone, there’s no shame in seeking support. If you cry often or struggle with staying anchored in the moment, speaking with a professional may be just what you need to restore emotional equilibrium.
At PIVOT, we love helping struggling individuals by offering expert relationship coaching designed to improve emotional wellbeing. In addition, we also offer a variety of high-quality relationship retreats and workshops that can help you find balance and happiness. Speak with a PIVOT Advocate today.