I’ve read a lot about the benefits of laughing, but I think this is the first I’ve seen on crying. When I saw this paragraph, Al Gore and his groaning and sighing in the presidential debate [years ago] came to mind, so I thought it was appropriate to share. It was written by C. H. Fowler and W. H. De Puy in their Home and Health and Home Economics, published a long, long, time ago.
1880: Crying and Health
Probably most persons have experienced the effect of tears in relieving great sorrow. It is even curious how the feelings are allayed by free indulgence in groans and sighs. A French physician publishes a long dissertation on the advantages of groaning and crying in general, and especially during surgical operations. He contends that groaning and crying are two grand operations by which nature allays anguish; that those patients who give way to their natural feelings more speedily recover from accidents and operations than those who suppose it unworthy a man to betray such symptoms of cowardice as either to groan or cry. He tells of a man who reduced his pulse from one hundred and twenty-six to sixty in the course of a few hours by giving full vent to his emotions. ‘If people are at all unhappy about any thing, let them go into their room and comfort themselves with a loud boo-hoo, and they will feel a hundred per cent better afterward.’ Then let the eyes and mouth be regarded as the safety-valve through which nature discharges her surplus steam.
Source: Fowler, C. H. and W. H. De Puy. Home and Health and Home Economics. New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1880.
~ p. 209 ~