Looking at old pictures always brings back fond memories. Seperation from a loved one can be a truly emotional experience. Even excrutating physical pain can be overwhelming. All these situations have one thing in common – tears. But sometimes even intense happiness can well up those waterworks and make us tear up. So how does it all work?
Tears are produced in response to an emotional state. The lacrimanal gland is activated and the fluid produced either goes down the lacrimal punctum into the nose which starts running. In other cases, the lacrimal drainage system cannot handle the volume of this fuid which flows down the eyelids onto the cheeks by the name of tears. Tears are nothing but an activation of the sympathetic nervous system in response to emotions like pain, anger, sadness or physical suffering.
There are definitely some advantages to being a crybaby, so don’t worry and bawl like a baby, if you have to. Acknowledge your suffering. Tears contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin that makes you feel better after you are done crying. However, these are only psychic tears. There are also reflex tears which help you to wash out unwanted particles or vapours from eyes thus keeping them safe, while the basal tears are to keep the cornea lubricated and nourished.
If the concept of tears is something that has always eluded you, then you must think twice. Crying actually has its own benefits. It would be safe to say that tears are an outlet of intense emotion, and suppressing those emotion is what the outside world terms as depression. So accept your tears whenever they arise, excuse yourself from company or just postpone them, but don’t hold them back. Apart from being stoic, some individuals are not able to cry for medical reasons. Sometimes the tear duct gets blocked hence the draining of tears becomes difficult. In this case the duct becomes swollen, inflamed and infected and causes redness of the eye. Blocked tear duct is treatable in almost all scenarios.
Tears may be a cry for help from the crier for sympathy and emotional support. Women cry more than men, simply because the society approves of it, but thankfully the condition seems to be shifting gradually. Tears are also often used as subtle tools of manipulation, by children and adults alike as the onlooker is made to feel guilty and coaxed into doing or saying something that they were initially not ready for. This is where the term ‘crocodile tears’, or non-emotional tears comes into play. But doctors have claimed that no matter what level of intimacy you share with the crier, certain words of approval or emotional support would definitely help to alleviate the situation!