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Cry Me a River, a Report On the Chemistry of Tears

By Andrew Dalman




Tears can be caused in a variety of ways: sadness, happiness, laughter, and even onion induced! But why are there so many, and how are they different? Scientists like Dr. Mercola set out to find the answer to these questions. One of their findings was that there are 3 basic types of tears, basaltic, reflex, and emotional. Basaltic are just the type that keep your eyes moist and prevent them from drying out through the day; reflex tears are the kind that occur when you get something like dust in your eyes; and emotional, as the name implies, are caused by a strong emotional response to something. The next finding was that when put under a microscope, tears induced from different sources actually looked different. Adding to that, they also found that the basic chemical structure of our tears is different from source to source, like my personality depending on the social setting. Lastly, it was found that negative emotion is quite literally carried away by tears. This isn’t me summing up an overly positive kids TV show, emotional tears take certain chemicals released by our brain to make us feel negative emotions, and take those chemicals with them on the way out of our eyes, so the saying “cry it all out” may not be that far fetched. The scientists conducting an experiment studying this found that people actually felt happier after crying than they did before they were sad. What Dr. Mercola’s findings show is that regardless of what our preconceived notions may be, tears are there to help us, be it getting pesky dirt out of our eyes, or literally taking your negative feelings out of your body to make you feel better. Every tear is as unique as you; so don’t be afraid to show them every now and then.


Sources

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/10/different-emotions-reveal-changes-in-tears.aspx

The Microscopic Structures of Dried Human Tears - Smithsonian

Structure of tears influenced by what makes us cry - Telegraph

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