MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “crying”

What starts the waterworks

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiQgt7ly7XaAhUGMewKHd9oCq4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdowhatlightsyouup.com%2Fgo-ahead-and-cry%2F&psig=AOvVaw1xo_TxfeVgsIFS-Yukag8-&ust=1523651732943075It is a small drop that forms at the corner of your eyelid. One that soon blurs your vision and causes your eyes to well up, releasing droplets to slide down your cheek. Then another comes and you are suddenly found in a state of distress, be it emotional or reflexive. But what is it that causes these waterworks to start? And why is it that some of us cry so much more often and easier than others?

There are reportedly three kinds of tears. According to this very interesting article our body produces basal, reflex and psychic tears. “Your basal tears are what I like to call the ‘worker tears’ and they keep your cornea (the transparent front of your eye) nourished and lubricated so your eyes don’t dry out. Then there are your reflex tears which that help you to wash out any irritations to your eyes from foreign particles or vapours (onion, being the classic example)”. Finally, there are the most popular type of tears: the “psychic, or ‘crying’ tears. These are the tears produced in response to that strong emotion you may experience from stress, pleasure, anger, sadness and suffering to indeed, physical pain. Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry!”

When we cry, we don’t just become dehydrated and – literally – drained. There are more things that happen at the same time: your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you may even get a lump in your throat – known as the globus sensation. This is all believed to occur as a result of your sympathetic nervous system (your ‘fight or flight’ system) activating in response to your emotional situation. This is also why we are left so tired after a good cry. Yet we somehow feel relieved.

According to this enlightening article, “many psychologists believe that in addition to giving us an outlet for a rapid build-up of a powerful emotions, crying is a social signal to others that we’re in distress”. It is also considered an outlet for shedding stress. In fact, it is believed that emotional tears contain more protein particularly linked to higher stress levels, which is thought to make them thicker and more noticeable as they streak down the cheeks. It is a call for support and empathy and a way of releasing stress-related chemicals from the body.

We cry mostly when we’re sad. In this way, it acts as a signal to others that we are in distress and it is a call to induce sympathy and attention. This may explain why the waterworks appear more often in children and women.  According to a 1980s PhD study by biochemist William H. Frey, on average, women cry 5.3 times a month, while men cry 1.3 times in that same time period.  There may be a biological reason behind this, as the hormone prolactin – found at higher levels in women – is thought to promote crying.

We cry when we feel that we are overwhelmed with emotions that are too difficult to handle. And suddenly thoughts invade our head that make us feel even worse, such as that things aren’t going our way, that we don’t have time to be or do the things we want, or that others are better off than we are. A whirlwind of reflections and feelings ensues entrapping us into a vicious circle that simply accentuates the waterworks.

But we also cry when we’re happy. It is a way of demonstrating how we feel – that we are so overjoyed, we sometimes can’t believe it. That powerful string of – positive, this time – emotions is what causes the tears to run. It is a good thing. But this too causes us to feel exhausted after a while.

It is believed that crying depends on a person’s level of sensitivity. We don’t all think the same way, nor do we feel the same. People react to different circumstances differently. That is what makes them unique. They should not be judged for it, but rather appreciated for their own way of responding to whatever life throws at them. Crying is not a sign of weakness after all; it is merely a sign of emotions and the fact that a person’s heart is beating faster at times.

Breaking out

GarfieldStressPMarisa looked out the window. There was a small white poodle gracefully trotting out into the middle of the street and lying down, rolling around in the sun. It was amazing how it figured out that that very spot was where all the sunlight was concentrated. It cared not of the cars honking their horns after abruptly braking before it. In fact, it even stood up and stared, joyfully wagging its tail as if it was play time.

I wish I was that carefree, she thought.

In her office all you could hear was the click-click of the keyboards, while everyone was sitting mesmerized in front of a computer screen. As if robots had taken over her colleagues who were now sitting there with their energy drained out, waiting for their next break.

Marisa was having a weird day.

It was one of those days when you feel you’re about to explode. All it takes is the slightest push, the cherry on top of the five-pound cake. The last straw. And it didn’t take too long to appear.

It all started with the bling of an email. One that was announcing that there would be no weekend as the whole team was required in to work on a report to be submitted on Monday morning.

That’s all it took.

Marisa broke out. Her stress ball was instantly shred apart as her nails tore into its smooth wore-down edges.

She replied to that email with three words “I hereby resign”.

When she got into the car she started to cry. The anxiety, the stress, the sleepless nights, the endless worrying about the inadequacy of the people she was forced to work with. It all took its toll on her. And now it all erupted. The waterworks had begun. And it was not easy to shut them off.

She rushed into Dom’s arms and let out a drawn-out wimper. Shocked, he did not know how to respond, other than comfort her and hear her out.

Don’t you even have anything to say? she uttered once her tears ran dry.

Geez, there is no winning this one, he thought, as he prompted her to tell him exactly what happened.

Marisa knew it wasn’t easy taking a risk to change her life so abruptly. It’s part of those days every month or so when you just sit and re-think your life and your dreams.

PMS is a (wo)man’s nightmare.

But every now and then, some tears, some yelling, and some comfort always does you good.

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