Why You Might Be Crying For “No Reason”

Updated March 30, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

There are many reasons why we cry. Sadness, relief, pain, anger, and even joy can all lead to tears. But, despite what we see in movies and television, crying spells don’t always have one simple cause. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the exact reason why you’re being emotional and feel like crying—and that’s okay. Just because you don’t know why you’re crying doesn’t mean you’re crying for no reason.

This article will go into some of the most common reasons behind seemingly random crying spells or uncontrollable crying. There are a lot of factors that could contribute to why you’re crying. Just remember—it’s totally normal to feel like you can’t stop crying and you don’t know why—you’re not alone.

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with the experience of crying, consider talking to a professional counselor. They can help you to work through your feelings and understand your crying spells. There’s never any shame in getting help!

Why Do We Cry?

Before you start searching for ways to stop crying, you might want to pause to consider why people cry at all. Remember, it’s reasonable to cry—everybody does it, and there’s no shame in it. In fact, studies show that, on average, most men cry at least once a month, and most women cry around five times per month. But why?

Tearing up—whether it’s just moist eyes or uncontrollable crying—is considered a universal human experience. Researchers who have looked at crying from an evolutionary standpoint explain it as a social tool developed for informational purposes. In other words, it’s a way of letting other people know you are in distress or need help. Babies, for example, use crying to communicate that they are uncomfortable or afraid.

So it’s natural to cry when you feel mad or you’re experiencing distress. Unfortunately, it can also be challenging to deal with, especially if you don’t know the exact cause. Unexplained crying can feel inconvenient at the best of times and embarrassing or uncomfortable at the worst of times. If you want to stop crying, it might help to understand what’s causing your tears.

Physical Or Hormonal Causes

For many people, crying occurs as a result of physical pain. Headaches, stomach aches, and bodily injuries can lead to tears. As much as we might want to “act tough,” crying from physical pain is a very natural reaction and something most people can’t control.

It’s also possible for a physical condition to create chemical changes in your body that can lead to uncontrollable crying. Women’s bodies, in particular, go through many changes that can alter hormone levels and cause unexplained laughing or crying.

If you recently started taking a new medication, might be pregnant, or have noticed other physical changes in your body and are finding yourself crying more, you should talk to a doctor. Professional medical advice, a proper diagnosis, or treatment might be what you need to stop crying.

Fatigue

Fatigue is another common cause of crying spells. Sleep deprivation can drastically impact all of our mental functions and lead to emotional instability and mood swings. Minor challenges that might seem easy to deal with when you’re well-rested can feel overwhelming, stressful, or even impossible when you’re fatigued. If you’ve ever started crying over a little issue, it might be the result of exhaustion.

There are a lot of reasons you might be experiencing fatigue. Stress, depression, major life events, or overworking can all lead to sleep deprivation. Talk to a doctor about ways to improve your sleep schedule for better emotional stability.

Stress

Along with fatigue, stress can lead to uncontrollable crying without a clear reason. Stress impacts our physical and emotional health more than we might think—symptoms of chronic stress include headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and crying spells.

Stress-induced crying can be frustrating because it might seem to come out of nowhere. You may feel the urge to stop yourself from crying so you can “keep it together.” It’s important to understand that your crying might be a sign that your body is overwhelmed with stress. The best thing you can do is address the source of your stress, if you can, or seek professional counseling.

Depression

Crying with no clear reason is a common symptom of depression. People who struggle with depression often experience feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to crying. Fatigue, another symptom of depression, can also worsen the problem.

Other common symptoms of clinical depression include a lack of motivation, mood swings, weight gain or loss, inability to focus, and changes in sleep patterns.

Crying does not necessarily mean you have depression. Depressive disorders are very complex; there are many different symptoms and countless causes. However, if you have a history of depression or are experiencing other symptoms, you should consider talking to a therapist. Counseling and medication (if necessary) can help people to recover and cope with depressive disorders.

Gender And Crying

On average, women cry more frequently than men. But that absolutely does not mean it’s unusual for men to experience uncontrollable crying.

There are multiple biological and cultural explanations for the crying differences between men and women. Most women have higher levels of prolactin in their bodies, which can promote crying, and men have higher levels of testosterone, which may inhibit crying. Socially, thanks to books, movies, and television, it is also seen as more acceptable for a woman to cry openly than a man. Those social barriers can be a serious inhibition for men dealing with emotional distress.

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s reasonable to start crying for no reason as a man, you’re not alone. And the answer is yes—it is entirely reasonable for a man to start crying uncontrollably or to feel like he can’t stop crying. Reactions like laughing or crying are universal, and no one should feel ashamed about them because of gender. It’s okay to seek help for crying spells, no matter who you are.

Is Crying Good?

It’s normal to cry. We see people crying in shows and movies all the time. But the media does not provide many examples of people crying for no reason—so it’s understandable to feel embarrassed or ashamed of crying spells you can’t control.

But there’s no need to feel that way. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that crying is good for you, even if you can’t always explain why.

According to researchers, there are plenty of psychological benefits of crying. One of the most commonly cited benefits is relief or “venting.” This is something you might have experienced before: after a crying spell, you feel like a weight has been lifted from you. You might even feel like you have a clearer perspective on your situation. Crying may benefit you if you have been holding in certain feelings and need to express yourself.

Other ways crying may benefit you include understanding (realizing that you have been holding back emotions) and communication (expressing to others that you feel seriously about a certain issue). Physical reactions like laughing or crying exist to help us communicate with others and cope with difficult situations.

That said, the health benefits of crying don’t make it less challenging. Uncontrollable crying can be frustrating and difficult. Sometimes, all you want to do is stop crying. One New York Times article suggests that crying shouldn’t always be seen as a positive thing—it won’t make problems go away on its own. Even if you feel better afterward, it’s still important to address the underlying cause of your uncontrollable crying.

Takeaway

There are several reasons why someone might feel like they can’t stop crying. Crying is a natural reaction, but internal and external stresses in our lives can lead to excessive or out-of-control crying. It might feel like you’re crying for no reason. There is more often than not a reason, though—and the only way to stop crying is to address it.

If you feel like you can’t stop crying, you shouldn’t ignore it. Crying spells can be a sign of serious mental or emotional distress. You might be overstressed, sleep-deprived, or even struggling with depression. To stop crying, you should seek help to address the cause of your tears.

licensed counselor can give you additional information about the causes of uncontrollable crying spells. They might also be able to provide medical advice or a diagnosis if you need it. Once you understand the cause of your crying and start taking steps to heal, you’ll feel much better.

Online therapy has served many individuals who have mental health disorders that may cause crying jags, from depression to anxiety. Online cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been utilized to process negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones—and this may help lessen or eradicate uncontrollable crying. Online CBT is often as effective, if not more effective, as in-person CBT.

Regain is an online therapy platform where you can get matched with a licensed therapist who can offer you support. You can meet your counselor alone or with a partner. Regain is a convenient way to get help. There's no need to travel to an office. You can meet with a therapist anywhere you have an internet connection.

In addition to potentially seeking professional help, you can also make small changes to your daily routine to help you regain control of your emotions. Meditation and relaxation have been known to help with stress-induced crying. Physical activity can also be a great method, especially for someone struggling with depression or anxiety. A little exercise every day can help to improve your sleep schedule, boost your confidence, and give you more energy throughout the day.

Remember, crying is totally normal. But if you’re experiencing excessive or uncontrollable crying and don’t know why, there’s no shame whatsoever in getting help.

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