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You may have been told there's no use crying over spilt milk, but what if that's wrong?
What if crying is the secret to feeling good?
Yeah, right!
All tears are produced by the lacrimal glands, located above each of your eyeballs.
They continuously supply the tear fluid that's wiped across the surface of your eye each time you blink.
Excess fluid drains through the tear ducts into the nose, which is why you get snotty when you cry.
There are three different kinds of tears.
Number one, reflex tears.
These happen when something gets in your eye, like dust or onions.
Tears build up to flush the irritant out.
Number two, basal tears.
These tears are always there.
When your eye starts drying out, like if it's very windy, you'll produce these tears to keep the cornea, the surface of the eye, well lubricated.
And number three, emotional tears, or what we call crying.
These are caused by the limbic portion of the brain, which controls emotion, memory and arousal.
But why do feelings make us cry?
All tears contain enzymes and proteins but emotional tears are different.
They also contain hormones like pain-relieving endorphins, the big daddy of pleasure-causing chemicals.
That's why you can feel so good after a big cry.
And when we're in high-stress situations, crying may help to lower the levels of stress in the body by getting rid of stress hormones.
As well as activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
That's a system that slows your heart rate, helps you rest and feel calmer.
According to researchers at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands, watching a sad film could actually improve your mood, but only if you cry.
To test this, I'm holding the first showing of the Feel Bad Cinema Club where we'll be watching some tearjerkers.
The Dutch study concluded that if a participant cried during the film, they were first left feeling depressed.
- But 90 minutes later they reported that they were in a better mood than before they watched the film. - Who has cried?
I feel relaxed and calm.
Tears were rolling down the cheeks.
It was uplifting.
I felt like I'd had a good release.
I feel like I should have cried but also I didn't.
Once I'm over it being said, I feel better, I think.
So if you cry, it can leave you calmer and in a better mood than before, but what about when we cry around other people?
Does it just make them uncomfortable?
Humans are social animals and tears act as messages between us.
When someone cries, it's easier to tell how they're feeling.
For example, babies cry to let us know something's wrong.
And in adults, tears emphasise how strongly we feel about whatever is making us cry.
Tears can build relationships too.
Helping someone when they're crying can break down barriers and bond us more closely.
On the other hand, if someone felt embarrassed or alone while crying, they're more likely to say that the tears made them feel worse.
People who had support from friends and family when they cried often say they feel better afterwards.
The same is true when people feel they gained valuable insight from shedding tears.
Crying can be a great healer, stress reliever and even good for bonding with friends if you do it right.
So, if you want to have a good cry, don't hold back.
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Crying Can Make You Feel Better: Crazy Science

195 Folder Collection
Mackenzie published on November 12, 2019
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