Can Crying Relieve Stress And Help With Anxiety Disorder Recovery?

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated September 29, 2022

can crying reduce stress and help with anxiety disorder recovery

Can Crying Relieve Stress And Help With Anxiety Disorder Recovery?

Research has found that people who “bottled up” their emotions have more stress, psychological and emotional hardship, and relationship problems than those who express them. So, having a good cry from time to time can reduce stress and be good for you in many ways. And that stress reduction can help reduce anxiety disorder symptoms and anxiety disorder recovery.

However, crying too much can be unhealthy for you and interfere with anxiety disorder recovery.

For instance, research has also found that people who vent their emotions too frequently or dramatically have more stress and physiological, psychological, emotional, and relational hardship than those who are more measured in their emotional expression.

Consequently, a delicate balance between healthy and unhealthy expression is required if you want ideal physical, psychological, emotional, and relational health.

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While being emotional from time to time is normal and healthy, living too emotionally can cause havoc in our lives.

For example, a common characteristic among anxiety disorder sufferers is that they live TOO emotionally, meaning they relate to the world in an overly emotional manner.

Rather than living life deliberately—by using their thinking—they live by how they “feel,” thusly more reactionary. Since our thinking drives our feelings, our feelings can betray us if we don’t understand the thinking behind our feelings.

For example, emotional relaters—people who relate to the world in overly emotional ways—often reason, “I feel sad. Therefore, I AM sad.” Or “I feel frightened. Therefore, I AM in danger.”

While these observations may seem reasonable, they are often incorrect.

We know that when the body is overly stressed, it can affect our emotions negatively. For example, we can feel down, sad, and depressed simply from being chronically stressed. But that doesn’t mean we ARE sad, down, and depressed. It just means we FEEL that way because of a chronically stressed body.

The same can apply to feeling fearful. When the body is chronically stressed (hyperstimulated), our sense of danger increases, causing a fearful reaction as if we were in danger even though we aren’t.

Based on the above, concluding that “I feel down. Therefore, I MUST be depressed.” Or, “I feel afraid. Therefore, I MUST be in danger” are incorrect.

Unfortunately, these incorrect conclusions can cause incorrect physiological and emotional reactions, which the body pays a stress price even though the conclusions are incorrect.

In fact, many anxious people succumb to anxiety disorder because they react to their feelings of fear with more fear because of the overly emotional ways they live and cope.

Therefore, living too emotionally can cause more harm than not expressing emotions enough. Again, a healthy balance is required.

Learning healthy ways to manage emotional expression is key. Since healthy emotional expression is a skill many anxiety disorder sufferers need to learn, and since this skill can be an important ingredient in learning how to “contain,” it’s worth learning and applying.

If you don’t know what healthy emotional expression is, or if you have some difficulty developing this skill, we recommend connecting with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists to help you.

Containing is one of the most important skills for long-term anxiety disorder-free success. Containing will free you from anxiety disorder and put YOU in control of your life experience rather than feeling like your life experience controls you.

Again, learning healthy emotional expression and containment are worthwhile investments since they are important for both short- and long-term anxiety disorder recovery success…and happiness.

Recovery Support members can read more about the importance of containment in the section “The Seven Principles To Conquering Anxiety Disorder” in chapter 6 in the Recovery Support area.

Recovery Support members can also read more about “Emotions and Feelings” in Chapter 5 in the Recovery Support area.

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The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions archive. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including Can Crying Relieve Stress And Help With Anxiety Disorder Recovery?