You ever heard of a “Crying Club?” A place where you go to cry. They exist. No fooling. I saw it on the internet.
Now if you’re thinking about someplace like the ‘cry room’ at church or the theatre downtown (those sound-proof, viewing rooms where desperately embarrassed parents hustle off with bawling babies), think again.
These clubs are for adults and not only for high-strung, overly emotional women, or liberated men who’ve proudly tapped into their ‘feminine side’.
Apparently, crying clubs have been around in Japan for years – “rui-katsu” they’re called, which literally means “tear seeking.” Even some hotels like The Mitsui Garden Yotsuya Hotel has designated rooms just for crying.
In Britain, the first crying club – referred to as a Misery Club, opened back in 2007 – “Loss.” That place was a hit! It said so on the internet.
So what’s all the crying about?
The official word now is that it is okay to cry – no not just okay, it is important that you cry . . . sometimes.
“A good cry or two can naturally heal us both physiologically and psychologically.”
What a relief ’cause I have to admit, I was one of the crying-est little girls ever! When my brother teased, I cried; forced to sit at the table until I finish a meal (eating was never one of my favorite activities), I cried; mommy insist that I “open my mouth and say hello” to a not particularly friendly-looking neighbor, I cried. Heck, I even cried when I thought about crying! And don’t you dare tell me “don’t cry” that just made it worse.
I’d like to tell you that I grew out of it but in all honesty, I can’t. Not quite. You just probably won’t catch me at it. After all, everyone knows that crying is just an embarrassing display of emotions that shows how weak you are, how immature you are, and leaves you with puffy red eyes, a runny nose and a bruised ego.
Wrong! Wrong! And wrong!
There are scientifically supported health benefits to crying.
The Japanese are such strong believers in the health benefits of crying that they’ve taken that wisdom to the next level. Some cities in Japan now have ‘crying clubs’ calles rui-katsu, where people come together to indulge in good old-fashioned sobfests.
Serusha Govender: Web MD
A few minor technicalities before I go any further.
There are 3 types of tears.
Basal tears – that every man, woman and child produce every minute of every day (and night) to keep their eyes wet.
Reflex tears – the chopping-onions / allergy-season / something-in-your-eye kind.
Psychic tears – the face-stinging / heart-breaking kind; emotional or stress related out-pours. Nothing to do with mind-reading or divination.
5 Health Benefits of Tears
1. Keep your eyes healthy
Tears keep your eyeballs from drying out and getting so red and gritty (dry eye) that it irritates the living daylights out of you and you have to bolt to the nearest pharmacy to grab one of those tiny expensive bottles of moisturizing eye drops to do the job that your tears should do in the first place; lubricate and wash away dust and debris.
2. Kill bacteria
Tears contain a chemical called lysozyme – but don’t worry about the scientific term. What is important is that it can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria in just five to 10 minutes. I wonder, does that have anything to do with the reason why characters in fairy tales can be magically healed by single tear drop?
“Tears also travel to the nose through the tear duct to keep the nose moist and bacteria free.”
3 & 4. Reduce pain & improve mood
“Why are you crying? It doesn’t make anything better!”
Yes it does.
When you feel pain (whether physical or emotional), crying signals your body to send in your personal EMS – endorphins, the natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.”
Crying probably won’t fix the situation but it may reduce your pain and help you feel better. Research suggest that crying is as good or even better than most anti-depressants (people with mood or anxiety disorders not included).
So if you should stub your toe on the table leg so hard it makes you cry, don’t fret about the tear drops. Your body would simply be trying to help you out.
5. Reduce stress
This particular super-power is unique to emotional crying; psychogenic lachrymation – just had to use that term. It sounds so scientific that it totally wipes the embarrassment out of bawling like a baby during a sad movie.
But back to the point.
Crying actually reduces stress even if the original problem doesn’t get solved. I saw I this on the internet too.
“Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration.”
Dr. Judith Orloff: Psychology Today
Here’s what happens.
When you’re all emotional or stressed out (and feel like jumping off the nearest bridge – as my Sis would put it), your body produces certain chemicals. These chemicals trigger the production of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Too much cortisol can cause serious health problems (like heart disease and high blood pressure).
Emotional tears act like a stress hormone regulator and actually flushes those toxic chemicals out of your body. Cool huh?
So next time you find the world is getting on your last nerve, consider abandoning that “stiff upper-lip” British mentality and let the tears flow.
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.”
Native American Proverb
Recap with Neatfacts
- National Eye Institute – dedicated to vision research.
- Web MD – for trustworthy and timely health information.
- Psychology Today – latest from the world of psychology