When I was told I had prostate cancer, it was emotionally like a kick in the stomach by a black-belt in Karate. I've shed tears over it. My wife and I have cried together over it. And now, come to find out, that tears are a good thing (of course, most women know that already)
Researchers have found that emotional tears play a direct role in alleviating stress. Tears related to emotions have two chemical components not found in tears related to physical phemonena , for example, eye irritation from cutting an onion or from wind.
These two chemicals are leucine-enkephalin and prolactin. The first chemical is thought to be an endorphin, one of the body's natural pain-relieving substances.
Tears are an exocrine substance, produced by the body and released to the outside, like sweat, urine and exhaled air. Tears, it is thought, may help to cleanse the body of substances that accumulate under stress.
In a study of 200 men and women, 40% felt a reduction in stress after crying and the majority reported feeling better. The study also showed that men cry 20% as often as women. It may be a manly thing to hold it inside, but when dealing with something like prostate cancer, that's a crying shame.