Some evidence suggests crying helps regulate the immune system. In a study in , scientists asked 60 patients with eczema and an allergy. Do you frequently hold back tears? Well it might Crying gets a bad rap because it usually only happens when something terrible is happening. I mean, come. By Serusha Govender. The Rumor: Crying has health benefits. We all cried when we were babies. But now that we're adults, many of us often try to hold back.
Attachment security, which involves comfort with emotional expression, and the ability to regulate negative affect using internal resources, is represented by low scores on both dimensions Brennan et al. Early work on adult attachment categorized individuals into attachment styles based on combinations of high vs. Attachment behaviors, such as crying, ensure that humans remain in close physical proximity to their attachment figures when threat is experienced Bowlby, ; Ainsworth et al.
In infancy and childhood, threat detection mechanisms are sensitive, thus crying behaviors are common Zeifman, In adulthood, thresholds for crying are much higher but crying can still be evoked by attachment threat such as prolonged or unexpected separation Zeifman, ; Nelson, Adults may cry to gain care from others directly especially attachment figures.
However, crying in solitude can also be conceived as seeking support from internalized representations of caregivers, which serves the same soothing and down-regulation functions Nelson, Preliminary evidence supports the existence of theoretically sensible attachment differences in adult crying behavior. Using single-item measures of both attachment and crying, Bartholomew and Horowitz found that those with a high-avoidant style reported lower crying frequency than those with low-avoidant style.
Try Not to Cry: Is Holding Back Tears Bad for Your Health? | Shape Magazine
Additionally, those with a high-anxious style reported the most frequent crying and the greatest tendency to cry in front of others vs. Using the same categorical attachment measure, Laan et al. Those with high anxious styles reported crying more for negative reasons and less for positive reasons, and more intensely in response to music, than those with a secure style. Finally, Denckla et al. Attachment avoidance was negatively related to vicarious crying concerning themes of attachment but positively related to society and sentimentality crying.
By focussing on vicarious crying proneness, however, the cited research did not include real-life and personal experiences, the most common everyday triggers of crying Bindra, To date there has been no systematic examination of attachment differences in the full range of crying contexts, using reliable dimensional measures.
Moreover, the mechanisms underlying attachment differences in adult crying have not been examined. There are two main reasons that attitudes toward crying should be considered as mechanisms. Firstly, an individual's attachment orientation is manifested behaviourally via the accessibility of cognitive schemas, containing attitudes, and beliefs relating to emotions and interpersonal relationships Collins and Read, The two dimensions of attachment insecurity avoidance and anxiety have specific attitudinal components related to the expression of emotions, whereby avoidance is associated with a preference not to reveal one's true feelings or acknowledge those of others, and anxiety is associated with a desire for the emotional intimacy that results from disclosure Brennan et al.
Secondly, outcomes related to emotional expression are known to be influenced by attitudes, for example, in restricted emotionality in men Wong et al.
It is also known that attitudes toward emotional expression partially mediate the link between social anxiety and the avoidance of emotional expression Spokas et al. Given the attitudinal components of cognitive representations of attachment, and the tendency for attitudes to predict outcomes related to emotional expression, we sought to examine attitudes toward crying as potential mediators of the link between attachment orientation and crying proneness.
The current research In two cross-sectional samples, we examine the relationship between attachment orientation, attitudes toward crying, and crying proneness. The motivations for our work are threefold. Firstly, we sought to examine the factor structure of the proneness and attitudes components of the most commonly-used measure of crying—the Adult Crying Inventory ACI, Vingerhoets, While some measurement papers exist for the proneness scale Scheirs and Sijtsma, ; Laan et al.
This would provide the basis for us to examine our hypotheses in a robust way.
Moreover, given that these scales are long i. Secondly, we sought to examine how the dimensions of attachment avoidance and anxiety predict crying proneness. We did so both by assessing self-reported crying proneness Samples 1 and 2 and also by asking respondents about their last experience of crying in terms of recency, intensity, and duration Sample 2.
Reporting a more recent vs.
Why holding back tears could be harming your health
In line with past research that used categorical attachment measures or limited crying measures Bartholomew and Horowitz, ; Laan et al. Similarly, in terms of most recent episode we hypothesized that H2a avoidance would negatively predict crying recency, duration, and intensity, and H2b anxiety would positively predict crying recency, duration, and intensity.
Finally, we sought to examine for the first time the role of attitudes toward crying. Based on the above rationale concerning the role of attitudes in attachment cognitive representations and as modulators of behavior, we predicted that H3 attitudes toward crying would mediate the relationships between attachment avoidance and anxiety, and reported crying behavior i.
We defer discussion of specific attitude dimensions until clarification of their factor structure see below. Personal contacts of the researchers also electronically distributed links to the study among non-student groups. Of the sample, were female, were male, and 64 did not disclose their gender.
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Suppressing your tears on a regular basis can increase your overall stress levels, which another reason why you should not hold back your tears. Cope with Sorrow A deep cry is generally healthy for you, since you are able to express deep emotions in a way that you may not on a daily basis. The Freudian theory suggests that it is perfectly normal to let your feelings out and that if you are discouraged to cry, it can have a negative impact on your health.
Many may feel embarrassed to cry often, because it can be viewed as a signal for help from others.
Don’t Fight the Tears! Five Reasons Why Crying is Good for You -
People are more than likely to reach out a helping hand when they see someone who is crying in public. Dealing with a life changing situation such as a recent death of a loved one or breakup is definitely not easy to deal with, but there is nothing wrong with crying either alone or with a friend whom you feel comfortable around in order to help you grieve. Tears Build Community Another benefit to crying is that it also builds community. Ashley Montagu is a writer for Science Digest and mentions that while many may believe that crying can build community may seem irrelevant, but it does hold significance.
If you see a woman sitting across from you on the bus that is crying heavily, it is completely normal to console her and ask what is wrong.Simply Red - Holding Back The Years
This can help build community by helping one another in a time of need and even encourage conversation. Human beings are the only mammals that hold the ability to shed tears in response to hardship or distress. We are lucky to have the gift of expressing our emotions easily that can lead others to recognize the emotions we are experiencing in the current moment.
Our emotions motivate us to empathize with others and work in a unit to get through hard times in the best to our abilities.