Why do people cry

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Tears show emotion
Extremes of emotion are often accompanied by tears
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Crying Buckets Can Be Healthy For You

Some people cry at the drop of the hat. It does not take much to reduce them to a blubbering mass of sobs and hiccups, bursting into tears at the slightest provocation while others hardly ever cry. Everybody cries, sooner or later, but we probably don't know why we cry or if it actually serves a purpose.


The tear ducts in our eyes keep our eyes moist, which protect our eyeballs from dirt particles and dust. The ducts are located under the upper eyelids and produce tears, which are a salty liquid (try tasting a tear) that spreads throughout your eye every time you blink.


Animals have the ability to produce tears but animals do not cry for the same reasons that humans do.


When we produce basal tears, their function is to keep the eye lubricated. If the eye is irritated, we produce reflex tears that flush out the eye. When we are distressed, sad, overwhelmed, touched or even happy, we produce emotional tears. Some people produce torrents of them while others can barely eke out a drop or two. Releasing emotion through crying is one step in maintaining psychological balance through acknowledging feelings and self help for both men and women.


Emotional tears consist of manganese, which is an element that impacts temperament. Emotional tears also contain prolactin. This is the same hormone that regulates milk-production in a woman. It is believed that releasing prolactin and manganese through our tears affords us with an emotional release, lessening tension, and balancing our levels of stress. Build up of harmful chemicals is eliminated when we cry, which is why crying can make you feel better, both physically and emotionally.


Babies cry, and adults, too, at times, as a form of communication. Babies cannot speak or even gesture so they let us know that they are hungry, wet, scared or sick through their tears and wailing. Babies can cry quite proficiently and for long periods of times without abating, as any parent can attest.


Everyone understands tears. Even though you may not speak the same language as another person, he will comprehend what your tears mean. Crying is a universal emotion.



Scienceline: Why Do People Cry?

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