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Why do we cry human beings? Crying is also positive

Why do we cry human beings? Crying is also positive

June 17, 2024

Babies and small children crying intensely. They cry because they are hungry, cold, afraid or in pain ... They cry at school, at home, in the park and at the supermarket. Many of them cry at all hours or several times a day. It is clear that in the absence of oral language, the mechanism of crying allows children to claim the necessary care for their care or express discomfort , having an established adaptive function when obtaining as a result, the help of the adult that satisfies his most basic needs.

This adaptive advantage, which guarantees the survival of the species by being a demand for help, especially in human babies, was already pointed out by Darwin in his research on the adaptation of species, as a universal phenomenon.


Why do adults cry?

The human being has the ability to cry from birth to death, however, throughout the socio-emotional development, the mechanism of crying modulates its evolutionary function of survival, depending on the capacity for independence that is gaining. That is to say, it is less frequent for an adult to cry because he is cold or hungry , because its adaptive mechanism will have passed to more complex and resolutive mobilization functions, channeling its resources to the active search for its own food or shelter.

But then, and especially in the first world, why do adults cry, if their basic needs are covered? Do we cry less for adults because it no longer serves us? Why are there people more prone to crying and others who are years without crying? Does it make us cry or is it the unhelpful expression of a simple malaise? What is clear is that we are not speaking of a mere biological effect, but of a complex mechanism in which physiological, psychological and social functions converge.


The biological function of tears

Biologically, tears are necessary for the maintenance of good eye health (eye lubrication, cleaning or protection to external agents) but they are also associated with powerful stimuli of an emotional nature, and not exclusively negative such as sadness, anguish, pain or frustration ... but we also cry of joy or surprise.

Crying and its relationship with emotional health

The understanding of crying in the adult human being and its relationship with emotional health has aroused great interest among experts and researchers. Some of the hypotheses that are being considered (even without empirical support) are that Through crying a certain hyperactivity is released , helping to establish a balance or reduce a punctual stress. It is true that many people express feeling more relaxed after crying, but this assessment is not generalizable since many others do not notice changes in their emotional state or they may even feel worse.


Thanks to research, it has been discovered that the components of tears are different depending on the agent that produces them, so that the tears that we secrete when we peel an onion are chemically different from the tears that we generate due to an emotional tension. In addition to typical tearing There are other physical changes associated with emotional crying, such as redness of the face, sob, hyperventilation ... "Emotional" tears are formed mainly by water, lipids, and other substances and differ from others in that they contain more hormones, which are usually associated with stress (prolactin, adrenocorticotropa and leucine enkephalins).

The importance of the autonomic nervous system

The control of crying depends on the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, being responsible for restoring a body state of rest or relaxation after an effort, a stressor, a danger or a large body function (for example, digestion). It has a complementary and antagonistic function to the sympathetic branch.

Faced with an alert or high levels of tension, the sympathetic branch would be activated preparing the organism for a possible fight or flight , understanding that at that moment it is not smart to stop to cry, but to react to save life or solve a problem.

On the other hand, the parasympathetic acts inhibiting at that moment to, later, recompose the normal state after the alarm. It is when the danger has passed that we can allow ourselves to relax and collapse. This explains why many people endure powerful stressors and strong emotional blows to those who react apparently well, and after a time is when the emotional slump comes and the crying breaks.

Crying can help relax

So we can say that crying helps to relax? For many people, we can say yes.It really is a form of emotional discharge necessary in some moments, very healthy and not harmful, that many prefer to reserve to perform in solitude. Other people prefer to cry accompanied. Although their demand does not refer to material resources of the other, mourn allows you to express and make a request for help who usually gets a response of emotional support from the environment.

Crying activates in others their capacity for empathy and emotional protection, reinforcing certain personal relationships and attachments (any shoulder does not help us to cry).

Despite the important role of crying, it still remains in society, a barrier that protects us from this emotionality, as if it were something negative or that should be eradicated. Many people perceive themselves as vulnerable, weak, helpless when they cry, having a negative effect on their own image, which can get worse if they also do not get the comfort they expect or need.

Socially we are not tolerant to crying

Socially, we can say that we are not tolerant to the tears of the other . We know that they suffer and their lament hurts us. The natural reaction of consolation is to want to prevent the other party from this expression, either by gender "men do not cry", "do not cry", "cry is from girls", be it by right "do not get like this", "do not cry "," Tell me what you need but stop crying "," it's not worth crying about that ". These habitual expressions do nothing but reflect the discomfort that supposes for one, the emotional expression of the other and the inability to sustain facing such intensity, such a request for help and emotional support that an adult needs.

Leave a space and a time to mourn, let's assume that your presence is necessary, we do not feel committed to having to make the origin of crying disappear, do not try to argue the reasons not to cry, simply Let us accompany this natural reaction and normalize its function and effect .


What Really Happens To Your Body When You Cry (June 2024).


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