Saturday, 19 November 2016

Tearing up

From the first moment we took the clean fresh breath we have started it with a cry. The trembling of the lips, scrunching of the face and here comes the water works. 

Till a certain age, the only communication we had with the outside world was through crying. As babies we cried if we were hungry, sleepy, poopy, droopy, uncomfy and just for the sake of it. But as we grow we add other expressions and crying becomes just one of those expressions.

But it will always remain as one of our strongest expressions. So strong that we cry not only when we are sad, we cry when we are angry, when we are happy, when we are humiliated, frustrated, when we feel we are cornered, when we see others cry, when we see a movie.. Sometimes just seeing a puppy is enough for someone to tear up.

But Why Do We Cry ??

Crying is a part of our being a human being love it or hate it, it is going to happen now and then. But what triggers it, what happens when you are crying ... get your tissues ready its a tearing article here at unravelingzz today. 

Crying can be defined as shedding of tears as an emotional response. There is also a non emotional crying called "lacrimation". But the tear ducts and muscles used for both types are the same. To say the plumbing for both water works are same. 

Now this lacrimal system (think like it is your inbuilt ganga water supply) is both the one which creates and drains tears. You remember that film of tear formed when you saw that old cat befriending a blind puppy and you blink fast to avoid it from falling down, thats when it drains down the lacrimal system or a tear duct. But when  you going through a huge emotional outburst the small duct cannot handle the tsunami of your tears and it overflows. 

Because our body is such incredibly complex engineering system, we don't make just one type of tear. Actually there are three types of tears.

Basal tears are the lubricant which keeps your eye hydrated and clean. 

Reflex tears are the tears which are released to wash out toxins, particles and irritants from your eye. Like you cry when you cut onions or tears form when dust particles enter your eye

But the most well known are Psychic tears, these are the tears produced in response to that strong emotions you may experience from stress, pleasure, anger, sadness and suffering to indeed, physical pain. Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin - perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry.

We know why the first two tears happen. But why do we cry for strong emotions even for happiness??

Crying serves as an emotional release when there is a buildup of energy with feelings. But it can also be a survival mechanism. When you cry, its a signal you need to address something.  

Crying may have a biochemical purpose. It's believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body. After something triggers an emotional response - the endocrine system, responsible for producing hormones through its array of glands, releases hormones to the ocular area and causes your eyes to fill up with tears. 

Although many animals cry out when they are in pain or emotionally distressed, humans remain the only known species that produces actual tears. Evolutionary theorists think that the purpose for this wasn't just to release chemicals, but to signal to other humans that we were in pain and trigger their sympathy. 

Recent psychological studies have determined that crying stimulates our brain's endorphin release, the "feel good" hormones that also act as a natural pain killer. Even though the problem may still persist after you've cried it out, there's no doubt that the act of crying allows for an overall release of bad emotion. This allows us to think clearer about the problem and help us find our logic. (which magically stops working when you are crying) 

But the sad part is crying has been always stigmatized in society for both sexes. If SHE cries it's because she is manipulative, unstable, wreck or needs attention from others. If HE cries, he is a crybaby, unmanly, coward, or a wuss. As you don't hide your smile when you are happy, or your anger when you are frustrated, you don't hide your frown when you are irritated, Why hide your tears when you want to cry. 

Here are some of the benefits of crying

1. Releases toxins : "What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul" - Old proverb. Crying does not only mentally cleanse us, it can cleanse our body too. Tears produced by stress help the body get rid of chemicals that raise cortisol, the stress hormone

2. Crying helps you come to terms with a loss: "To weep is to make the depth of grief" - Willian Shakespeare. 

3. Being unafraid to cry makes you strong. 

4. Boosts communication : Crying can show what words cannot express, especially in a relationship. It happens most times when you shouting or really upset you just cannot put the depth of your feelings in words and end up crying. 

5. It is said that tears kills bacteria. Tears contain the fluid lysozyme - also found in human saliva - that can kill 90 to 95% of all bacteria in just five to 10 minutes. 

In the same way consequences of not crying is actually adverse. "A sorrow that has no vent in tears makes other organs weep" - Sir Willian Boyd

If you suppress your tears more often then you may be on the road to depression. You will always be upset due the things boiling inside you. Those who suppress emotions and cannot cry maybe jeopardizing their physical health. 

So if you are one of those who cry at the drop of a hat or you don't remember when you last cried. Don't cringe from expressing your emotions through a tear or two. Now that medical field is advancing and educating people that mental health is as important and precious as physical health, we should break the social barriers where crying is ridiculed, where men (in some cases women) are humiliated for crying and show sympathy to those who don't cry. With the dawn of therapy and heavily prescribed feel good medications, we should all be more appreciative of our biological ability to cry and take full advantage of the natural anxiety - reliever it is. 

Its time we said "It's ok to cry, let go of those tears. You will feel good" rather than "Oh don't be a cry baby".

P.S : There also something called as "secondary gain" cry or Crocodile tears. Where a person cries to gain sympathy from the other and do their bidding. Beware of it.