Dr Uthman Mubashir, Public Health Physician of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, has said that emotional tears have special health benefits for people.
Mubashir revealed in an interview in Ilorin on Tuesday that crying had “therapeutic emotional freedom”.
“Tears are protective and they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, and they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes,” he said.
He explained that tears might decrease arousal of distress and make people feel better.
According to him, reflex tears are 98 per cent water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying.
Mubashir said that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress.
The public health physician, who teaches at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ilorin, noted that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, “our body’s natural pain killer and feel-good hormones”.
“Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart,” he said.
Mubashir warned against dissuading people from holding back tears, saying that holding back tears was a form of bottling up emotions that could trigger stress and other problems.
“We are in a society that tells us we’re weak for crying, in particular that powerful men don’t cry.
“The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self-awareness to cry,” he said.
He reiterate that “it is good to cry, it is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress.”
Crying, he pointed out, was also essential to resolve grief when some someone lost a dear one.
“Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we will be depressed if we suppress these potent feelings.