A - be it sadness, anger or joy
B - feel less tense
C - however unlikely it may be
D - only if it helps to resolve situations
E - people actually report feeling more distressed
F - testosterone may inhibit men from crying
G - to not crying enough
I - what showed unhappiness and worry
J - which took longer to recover from
Is crying good for you?
Have a good cry, let it all out – who doesn’t think it is healthy (0) …? An analysis of 140 years of media articles on crying shows that a whopping 94% praise its virtues. Cancer, asthma and high blood pressure have all been linked (tenuously) (1) …, while a Huffington Post blog last week urged men to cry more because it “releases pain” and “helps individuals to heal”.
Crying from emotion, (2) …, is said to be exclusively human, although it is also claimed that elephants tear up. Opinions on crying are culturally determined. The Toraja in Indonesia think that crying – unless done by a bereaved person – is unhealthy, causing mental health problems and early death.
A study of 5,000 people in 35 countries led by Professor Ad Vingerhoets, a psychologist from Tilburg in the Netherlands and author of the book Why Only Humans Weep: Unravelling the Mysteries of Tears, found that, on average, women cried between 30 and 64 times a year, compared with men’s six to 17 times. Vingerhoets suggests that (3) …, whereas women’s higher prolactin levels may promote it. Prolactin levels are higher in pregnancy, when crying can be more frequent.
Consistent science is missing from the study of adult crying, and scientists have failed to determine whether it is a good thing. Surveys find that 60 to 70% of people say that crying makes them (4) …– but they are usually recalling an episode some time ago.
In laboratory studies where crying is induced, (5) … . A study from the University of California at Berkeley showed 150 women a clip from the film Steel Magnolias, in which a mother is crying at her daughter’s funeral. A total of 33 cried and 117 did not. Those who cried felt more pain and distress for a longer period of time. The authors argued that crying created a state of greater distress, (6) … .
Crying is often associated by helplessness and may help people feel better (7) … . Studies show that comfort from one person in particular, as opposed to a group, results in people feeling that crying was a good idea. If crying is associated with shame, then it may not have a positive effect – but the answer to “Should you have a good cry?” has to be yes – and try not to feel bad about it.
1G 2A 3F 4B 5E 6J 7D