Posted in Reflections

All about Tears!!!

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I was reading this touching story from one of the forwarded mails and I suddenly realize that there are tears running down my cheeks. I was telling myself to control… it would be so embarrassing to cry that way in office sitting at my desk. But they don’t stop at all and I had to run to the washroom to clean my already reddened face.

It happened to me many times, when I really wanted to put a brave face and not cry at all, but my brain and eyes betray me. It was then, I decided to do a bit of research on net, that why some people cry more than others.

Interestingly, the actual reason why tears are more in some people than others is not yet established. Nevertheless, here are my findings :-p

Tears are secretions from the lachrymal glands that clean and lubricate the eyes. The lachrymal glands secrete lachrymal fluid, which flows through the main excretory ducts into the space between the eyeball and lids. When the eyes blink, the lachrymal fluid is spread across the surface of the eye and flows through the lachrymal canaliculi at the inner corner of the eyelids entering finally into the nasal cavity. An excess of tears can thus cause the nose to run.

There are three types of tears –

Basal Tears : normal continuous lachrymal secretions to lubricate the eye and clear it from any dust particles.

Reflex Tears : This is due to the irritation of the eyes due to foreign particles or exposure to irritable agents or during cough/yawning.

Emotional Tears : These are due to strong emotional feelings like stress, anger, fear, sadness, happiness. In humans, emotional tears can be accompanied by reddening of the face and sobbing — cough-like, convulsive breathing, sometimes involving spasms of the whole upper body.

Emotional tears can sometimes be useful to alleviate stress. That is the reason why people cry even when they are alone, when there is no one else to receive the communication. This explains why we feel refreshed after a good cry :). The hormones released with tears(emotional) have a different chemicals compared to normal basal/reflex tears. They contain leucine encephalin (a natural painkiller) which helps in relieving stress.

There are statements that negate this theory too. However scientists say that there needs to be a strong emotional stimulus for tears to come. Hence they say that the theory about “crocodile tears” (or manipulative crying) is false. It is said that no one can fake crying. They have to conjure strong emotional feelings to produce tears.

Emotional tears are supposedly triggered by nerves running from the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls emotion – to the brain stem at the top of the spinal cord, and from there to the lachrymal glands. It makes sense that many brain systems are involved because both laughing and crying require understanding an emotional context. Also with both, a cluster of physiological responses occur: The muscles of the face are engaged, heart and respiration rates rise, even the voice changes tone.

But what sets off those triggers for some people more readily than others is not known yet. Effect of the society and the surroundings however seems to have an effect on it. For example, it is long determined that men are stronger than women and men who cry are treated as weak beings. Hence men are not at liberty to heal their emotional wounds by crying their worries out. It is said that this is the reason why men take a long time to handle stressful situations, as they may need to work very long and hard to access the grief behind anger.

Having said all this, is there a way to control tears? Psychologists say it is best not to control them and let them out. Because it involves a lot of emotional build-up before you actually cry and it may be harmful to your health to resist from letting it out.

Having said that, crying for days together can be harmful too as it has the danger of the person going into depression. In this situation, it is best to divert yourself by keeping your mind busy with some interesting tasks and thinking happy thoughts. It is all about manipulating your brain. Act as if you are happy and your innocent brain believes you 🙂

Before I end this post, wanted to quote this beautiful statement :

“perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.”


88 thoughts on “All about Tears!!!

  1. Lovely blog this one. And yes don’t control tears let them come whenever they want to, best way to relieve yourself and as you said to get the clear iew of this world again especially when Outer ring road is so full of dust! 😛


  2. Sometimes crying can make everything seem better and you feel you have the ability to handle the situation better. Other times, not so much. But it still feels good to get it out every now and then 🙂


  3. As a gifted crier myself (who comes from a long line of similarly gifted criers), I want to say bravo for this post — and I love the fact that research suggests we should simply let it out. I liken it to a pot on the stove full of boiling water…if we don’t vent the lid every once in a while, what will happen? I happen to know….and let me tell you, it’s NOT pretty…



  4. Fascinating tear facts. I am one of those people who cry over everything – babies, sad movies, touching events, soccer games. I often wish I did not cry so easily, but I don’t seem to be able to exert any control over it.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. And, I’ll have to stop now, lest I start crying to express my happiness for you.


  5. “For example, it is long determined that men are stronger than women and men who cry are treated as weak beings.”

    You might want to do some research on both those statements.


  6. Every now and then, I intentionally long for a cry – it’s definitely a release.

    Here is a dialogue I find to be fascinating on the topic. It’s from the movie “City of Angels”

    Seth: Why do people cry?
    Maggie: What do you mean?
    Seth: I mean, what happens physically?
    Maggie: Well… umm… tear ducts operate on a normal basis to lubricate and protect the eye and when you have an emotion they overact and create tears.
    Seth: Why? Why do they overact?
    Maggie: [pause] I don’t know.
    Seth: Maybe… maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it. Your mind and your feelings become too powerful, and your body weeps.


  7. It is funny that I came across your post today…I was just talking about this very subject this morning with my Aunt. We both are cryers…to a point that it is just embarrassing! It doesn’t matter – happy, sad, mad, etc….we cry! I agree a good cry is beneficial every once in awhile but would love to be able to control it just a little better…so if you ever discover what makes some cry more than others and a solution to help control the tears…please let me in on the secret! HA!


    1. I would also be interested to know the answer to that. I was a notorious crybaby as a kid, and no one in my extended family hesitates to remind me of it, several decades later. I still tend to get teary-eyed by cheesy Bollywood kind of scenes, which is quite pathetic.

      Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!


    2. Sure thing!!! but yeah..if you really want to control it, try to divert yourself when you know you are on the verge of some music and sing along or make a joke and laugh aloud or just think happy thoughts… it works at times 🙂


  8. Agreed. This is one of the biggest problems in our country. We are mostly taught to be “stoic” men and “nice” women. We forget that you can be a strong, masculine guy and still cry and scream and yell and shout!


  9. That really reminds me of a quote I heard on a tv show… “You have to cry out all of your tears, to make room for a heart full of smiles!”


  10. Now I know. Thanks for the info. I just want to share this:

    Why sigh
    When you can cry
    Cry it out loud
    All the feelings
    Locked inside
    Tears are really meant
    To wash way the pain
    Let those fluid flow
    Let it rain, let it rain


  11. I think it’s good to have a good cry once in awhile, especially if it is building up inside you. I don’t think you can really control it, at some point the floodgates will open!


  12. Reblogged this on ANNEDITED and commented:
    I am a crybaby. I cry when I’m happy and I cry when I’m sad. The last time I got teary-eyed was when I happened to watch a parade during our town’s fiesta celebration. I would expound on the cause the moment I have extra time to spare. (I’m just taking a rest from a sea of paperworks, so, please do understand. Thank you.). This post about tear ducts made me smile. Come on! Let’s smile because of tear ducts.


      1. As grown-ups, we tell ourselves to be tough; that we can handle it (whatever that is – a disappointment, a rejection, an estrangement, feelings of insecurity, loneliness etc) without creating a melodrama. We suck it all up and go about with our daily lives thinking the negative feelings will just go away. I’ve learnt that it doesn’t, if we don’t get it out of our system. Instead, it builds up…and over time, we become unhappy and the body becomes tensed and shaky.
        The way to get it out of our system is to cry or if necessary, bawl. Whenever I’m feeling down or any negative feelings, I shut myself in my room, play some music and allow my emotions to just flow. Think about all those events or words that make me feel awful and just have a good bawling session.
        Immediately, I feel lighter (emotionally) and the chest “opens up” (as opposed to a tight chest feeling when I keep my emotions bottled up).


  13. Reblogged this on WHITE FRAISE and commented:
    perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.” …

    WOW . this is really true !!!! REALLY TRUE !


  14. your last sentence ……
    perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.”

    is really nice …. maybe it’s really true !


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