As many caregivers are well aware, sometimes there really is no better outlet for your stress and frustrations than a good cry. Crying is cathartic, and as researchers have proven time and time again, crying is good for relieving stress, anxiety and other emotional build-ups.
Being a caregiver certainly provides you with countless opportunities to unleash some water works, and thankfully, a good sob is also good for your health. Bottling up emotional stress and keeping in tears can have negative physical effects on the body, (including cardiovascular disease) so letting out a healthy cry now and again is nothing to be ashamed of, it is something to be embraced.
Since alleviated stress can damage certain areas of the brain, crying also has survival value. But in case you need more convincing that your tears are not in vain, allow the following reasons to influence your attitude toward tears.
Tears Remove Toxins: Research has proven that tears formed during stress or grief actually contain more toxic byproducts than those formed of irritation (i.e. when something gets into your eye). Tears serve as a natural chemical releaser.
Crying Removes Stress: Suppressing tears increases stress levels and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, including high blood pressure, heart problems and peptic ulcers.
Crying Can Elevate Mood: Crying reduces the body's level of manganese, a mineral which affects mood including anxiety, nervousness, irritability etc., and is found in up to 30 times greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. Reducing your level of manganese elevates your mood.
Tears Kill Bacteria: Tears serve as a chemical barrier to fight away infection. When our eyes secrete tears they are fighting off pathogens from entering the body, including all the germs we pick up from doorknobs, shopping carts and keyboards etc.
Tears Help With Vision: >The most basic function of tears is allowing us to see. Tears lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids and prevent dehydration of mucous membranes. Our eyes cannot function without proper lubrication, making tears absolutely vital to vision.
So the next time your emotions overtake you and feel the urge to let out some tears, don't hold back. Being on the emotional roller coaster ride we call caregiving, should enable you to embrace your ups and downs no matter how low you drop.