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  • Linda the blogger

I cried so hard I laughed

I recently wrote about the sweet peals of laughter I’ve enjoyed while being around my very young twin grandsons and watching older toddlers at play.  Having just spent several days with these babies, I noticed something else - how those joyful laughs can turn to pitiful tears in a matter of seconds, sometimes for no apparent reason, at least no reason discernable to adults. 

Happily, the opposite can also happen - the tears quickly dry and giggling resumes.  Clearly, there’s a close relationship between laughter and tears.  So what’s the deal?

employees laughing during fun corporate team building event

(Employees laughing during a Knuckleball Comedy team building event in Scottsdale, Arizona)

My curiosity piqued, I delved a little deeper.  And it turns out there are medical benefits to crying. In fact, crying releases some of the same good stuff that laughing does - oxytocin and endorphins, for example. 

For both babies and adults, crying is a self-soothing behavior that helps you feel better, calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed. 

Crying is also a way to connect with others; crying out of sadness or joy on someone’s behalf is a way to show you care.  It helps to connect you to important people in your life.  I even read in a religious text thanking God for sheltering people with the gift of tears.  

A goodRX Health article lists 8 ways in which crying is beneficial to health.  My favorite takeaway is that after you cry, you are more likely to experience stronger self-image and self-esteem; when people finish crying, they often report a shift in the way they see a situation and increased acceptance. 

And at the end of a good cry, many people are moved to laughter, which, of course, is what we’re all about at Knuckleball Comedy

Everyone should feel free to have themselves a cry when needed, especially when it leads to those feel good hormones, better self-esteem, sounder sleep, pain relief, and of course, laughter.  

So, as one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Joni Mitchell, once crooned “one minute she’s so happy, then she’s crying on someone’s knee, saying laughing and crying, you know it’s the same release.” 

And to those babies who jump quickly between these emotional states, I’ll soothe you when you cry, and then celebrate your laughter.

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