Why do we cry humans? Crying is also positive

Babies and young children cry loudly. They cry because they are hungry, cold, afraid or in pain … they cry at school, at home, in the park and in the supermarket. Many of them cry all the time or several times a day. It is clear that in the absence of oral language, the crying mechanism allows children to demand the care they need for their care or to express discomfort, Having a well-established adaptation function to obtain it accordingly, the help of the adult who meets his most basic needs.

This adaptive advantage, which guarantees the survival of the species as a request for help, especially in human babies, has already been emphasized by Darwin in his research on species adaptation, as a universal phenomenon.

Why do adults cry?

Human beings have the capacity to cry from birth to death, but throughout socio-emotional development, the crying mechanism modulates its function of evolutionary survival, depending on the capacity for independence it acquires. In other words, that is to say it is less common for an adult to cry because he is cold or hungryBecause its adaptive mechanism will have shifted towards more complex and decisive mobilization functions, channeling its resources in 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 met ?, Do we cry adults less because it no longer serves us ?, Why are some people more inclined to cry and others who have been crying for years ?, does it make us cry or is it the unnecessary expression of simple discomfort? What is clear is that we are not talking about a simple biological effect, but a complex mechanism in which physiological, psychological and social functions converge.

The biological function of tears

Biologically, tears they are necessary for the maintenance of good eye health (Lubricating the eyes, cleaning or protecting against external agents) but they are also associated with powerful emotional stimuli, and not exclusively negative like sadness, anxiety, pain or frustration … but we also cried ` “ joy or surprise ”.

Crying and its relationship to emotional health

Compression of crying in adult humans and its relationship to emotional health has generated great interest among experts and researchers. Some of the hypotheses studied (still without empirical support) are that when crying, some hyperactivity is released, Help find a balance or reduce one-time stress. It is true that many people feel more relaxed after crying, but this assessment is not generalizable because many others do not notice changes in their emotional state or may even feel worse.

Through research, it has been discovered that the components of tears are different depending on the agent that produces them, so the tears we secrete when we peel an onion are chemically different from the tears we generate due to the emotional stress. In addition to the typical tear there are other physical changes associated with emotional crying, such as flushing, sobbing, hyperventilation… ‘Emotional’ tears are made up mostly of water, lipids and other substances and differ from others in that they contain higher amounts of hormones, usually associated with stress (prolactin, adrenocorticotropa and encephalins leucines).

The importance of the autonomic nervous system

Control of crying depends on the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for reestablishing a bodily state of rest or relaxation after exertion, stressor, danger, or large-scale bodily function (e.g. , the digestion). It has a complementary and antagonistic function of the sympathetic branch.

In the event of a warning or high voltage levels, the sympathetic branch would be activated by preparing the organism for a possible fight or flightRealizing that at this point it is not smart to stop crying, but to react to save lives or solve a problem.

For his part, the parasympathetic acts by inhibiting at this moment in order to subsequently restore the normal state after the alarm. This is when the danger is over, when we can allow ourselves to relax and sink. This explains why many people endure powerful stressors and strong emotional shocks from those who seemingly respond well, and after a while, this is when the emotional slowdown occurs and crying breaks out.

Crying can help you relax.

So can we say that crying helps to relax? For many people, we can say yes. It really is a very healthy and harmless form of emotional discharge at times necessary, which many prefer to reserve for playing on their own. Other people prefer to cry accompanied. Although their request does not allude to the material resources of the other, crying allows you to express and ask for help which usually receives an emotional supportive response from the environment.

Crying actively activates in others their capacity for empathy and emotional protection, strengthening certain personal relationships and affections (not every shoulder serves us to cry).

Despite the important role of crying, there is still a barrier in society that protects us from this emotionality, as if it was a negative thing or should be eradicated. Many people see themselves as vulnerable, weak, helpless when they cry, which has a negative effect on their own image, which can at least make the situation worse and at least get the comfort they expect or have. need.

Socially we are intolerant to cry

socially, we can say that we do not tolerate the crying of the other very well. We know that they are in pain and that our grief hurts us. The natural reaction of consolation is to want to prevent the other part of this expression, either by gender “men don’t cry”, “don’t be in tears”, “crying is for girls”, or by right “don’t. don’t cry “say it like that” don’t cry “,” tell me what you need but stop crying “,” not worth crying about it “. These very common expressions only reflect the discomfort it means for one, the emotional expression of the other and the inability to endure such intensity, such a demand for help and emotional support that an adult has. need.

We leave space and time to cry, we assume their presence is necessary, we don’t feel committed to removing the source of the crying, we don’t try to argue the reasons for not crying, just we accompany this natural reaction and normalize its function and effect.

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