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Science & Technology

Why do we cry tears of happiness ?

November 14, 2014 | Comment icon 19 comments

Positive and negative emotions can help to restore an emotional balance. Image Credit:
Why do we sometimes burst in to tears when we are experiencing something overwhelmingly positive ?
It might seem counterintuitive, but when faced with extremely good news it is not uncommon to see someone break down in tears, an emotional response typically associated with sadness.

In a recent study, a group of psychologists from Yale University determined that the reason for this is most likely to do with how we regulate our emotional equilibrium. By responding to a strongly positive emotion with a strongly negative one we can more effectively restore our emotional balance.
The researchers indicated that the reverse can also be true in that some people tend to exhibit positive emotions in negative situations such as when someone laughs when nervous or scared.

"These insights advance our understanding of how people express and control their emotions, which is importantly related to mental and physical health, the quality of relationships with others, and even how well people work together," said lead author Oriana Aragon.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (19)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Babe Ruth 7 years ago
It may seem like a strange response: to break down in tears when you are happy. But now a group of psychologists say they have found the reason why, and that crying tears of joy may well be the body's way of restoring "emotional equilibrium". The psychologists say that, by responding to an overwhelmingly positive emotion with a negative one, people are able to recover better from strong emotions. http://www.telegraph...ars-of-joy.html Anymore in my life, tears of joy are the only tears I shed, and it is a beautiful experience.
Comment icon #11 Posted by alfonso 7 years ago
why do people pi55 there pants when they laugh?
Comment icon #12 Posted by 13Homerun13 7 years ago
I don't believe I've cried from happiness. Fear and sadness on the other hand...
Comment icon #13 Posted by lightly 7 years ago
why do people pi55 there pants when they laugh? glad you asked alfonso http://medical-dicti...g in ones pants Ľ Stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an individual involuntarily loses urine after pressure is placed on the abdomen (i.e., during exercise, sexual activity, sneezing, coughing, laughing,or hugging) ...similarly, said pressure on the abdomen can also result in a sudden unexpected and often unwelcome expulsion of air. Which at times results in people laughing till they cry, and pee their pants. If it ever spreads uncontrolled, a global pandemic isn't out of the questio... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by GrimmOne 7 years ago
I've never cried tears of joy. Me either, I don't seem to cry anymore at all, I didn't even cry when I found out that my ex girlfriend had schizophrenia and had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Now me and her were extremely close and still talk. But other than that the last time I cried was when I was feeling extreme pain, and I was just a little one
Comment icon #15 Posted by jpriest27 7 years ago
When my husband is angry or has jealousy with me I smile/laugh even though I feel "in trouble" and upset.. Makes no sense. Then he thinks I'm a liar because I smiled when I should have been upset.. And then when there is good news, I have delayed emotion. Like I refuse to believe something good is happening. My body must be all outta whack
Comment icon #16 Posted by jmccr8 7 years ago
30yrs ago after I divorced my second wife after driving her insane I cried tears of joy but not since because after that I swore I wouldn't do that again and 5 billion women cried for joy(although not for the same reasons) jmccr8
Comment icon #17 Posted by shrooma 7 years ago
Uh, how do I say this... Wife, partner or self-pleasure will significantly reduce stress hormonal activity in a male, as it is actually expelled with the "event" I do not know how this works for women. . I do.
Comment icon #18 Posted by shrooma 7 years ago
I don't believe I've cried from happiness. Fear and sadness on the other hand... . sorry to hear that 13..... .
Comment icon #19 Posted by Nyx83 7 years ago
For me I do cry tears of joy but it seems to be from a huge amount of emotionalism from whatever is taking place. Such as the tears of joy when I first saw my babies.

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