Why Do We Cry?

Cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs

It’s okay. You can cry. Okay, but why do we cry after watching something really sad or after a tough break up? If you think about it, crying is very very strange. I mean our face turns all red, and water just starts bursting out our eyes.  Well let’s see what science has to say about this. 

Now of course all tears aren’t sad. For example, when your around an onion or other foul odor, your eyes start to water. That is because your eyes detect the irritant and triggers a response in your brain the tell your eyes to release tears. The tears then wash away any of the irritants that are unwanted and ultimately help our bodies.

As for tears of sadness, this is a more complicated story.  Tears of emotion are not just pure water.   One theory suggest that crying is a way to remove hormones in our bodies. The tears remove these hormones and proteins called the Adrenal Tropic Hormone that are contained inside the tear to literally remove the “stress from our bodies”. This is to prevent further depression in ourselves.Another popular theory suggest that it was an evolutionary adaptation related to our social ability. When others see us cry, they can clearly see that we are experiencing extreme emotion and need help and support. It is a signal for need and attachment and boosts our communication with others and therefore our odds at survival.

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We do need emotional support from others every once and a while.

So go ahead, have a good long cry.  Like I said before, it’s all good, and it could ultimately boost your chances to survival and communication with others.  You could  also relive some stress in this way as well.

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2 thoughts on “Why Do We Cry?

  1. Wow, now I know why I cry before a week full of tests. But, if you’re really removing stress from your body, then why do I still feel stressed even AFTER I cry?

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