Science & Technology
Why do we cry tears of happiness ?
November 14, 2014 | 19 comments
Positive and negative emotions can help to restore an emotional balance. Image Credit: sxc.hu
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.
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