Exams have started and we’re all trying to find ways to keep calm and carry on. But could it be that the best way to get stress out your system is to be quite the opposite of calm? Studies have shown that letting go and having a good old cry or perhaps a weep (depending on your style) can actually be a stress reducer.
Most of us are discouraged from crying as it shows weakness or, in a guy’s case, is seen as ‘acting like a girl’. It is true that it’s socially more acceptable for women to cry than men, seeing as women cry 30-64 times on average a year and men only 6-17 times per year, yet it would seem that women have got the right idea. A study at the University of Minnesota discovered that the chemicals built up in your body during times of stress can be released through tears. Unreleased stress can result in damage to areas of the brain and heart problems, so crying is a way to relieve both your mind and body. These tears are different tears as opposed to when you poke yourself in the eye with your pen or watch The Notebook; they include natural painkillers and endorphins. Often a bit of crying can clear your mind and help start fresh – especially handy with essays!
However, crying is not for the exam hall. If you’re going to have a sob make sure it’s somewhere with an easily accessible box of tissues to dab those tears. Having a quick cry might just put you back in the right mind-set but it is important to remember that exams are not the end of the world and you have to do what works for you.