If you've ever watched a tear-jerker film, been emotionally overwhelmed by an incredible performance or just couldn't deal with how cute those puppies were on that dog adoption commercial, you'll well and truly know the power of a good cry.
Crying is great. It's detoxifying. And sometimes all you need to do is sob to your heart's content when life gets a little overwhelming.
It's also extremely emotionally charged and personal, which means doing it in public is a bit silly. Still, it's great to cry, and now we know it's incredibly good for you, too.
Researchers in Japan confirmed that crying can actually make you happier, calmer and stress-free. The revelation comes from former high school teacher and self-styled ‘namida sensei’ (tears teacher) Hidefumi Yoshida. He's been giving lectures about the importance of crying to companies and schools for almost six years, and now he wants us to join in on the benefits, too.
In 2014, Yoshida and a team of researchers got together to raise awareness of how crying can reduce stress. “The act of crying is more effective than laughing or sleeping in reducing stress. If you cry once a week, you can live a stress-free life," Yoshida told the Japan Times. So, if you're crying roughly four times a month, once per week, you're going to be a happier person according to experts.
He believes watching sad movies, listening to emotional songs or reading heart-wrenching books can help make you feel better, even if you look like a ridiculous, blubbery mess. Doing so can offer huge benefits to your mental health by stimulating parasympathetic nerve activity, which slows the heart rate and can have a soothing effect on the mind.
So next time you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, turn on The Lion King, The Fault in Our Stars or The Notebook and just let the tears roll.