Why are we crying?

When we cry, different emotions can be the trigger: In addition to grief, anger, fear and pain as well as joy come into question. Sometimes we cry, but apparently for no reason. If this happens more often, medication or depression can be the cause. Regardless of the cause, headaches and swollen eyes often appear after prolonged weeping. We inform you about the subject of 'crying' and reveal what helps against such complaints.

Sign of sadness

Quite soberly, crying is an emotional expression that usually - but not always - is accompanied by tears. Crying is often a sign of sadness, but it can also be linked to other emotions. These include, for example, anger, fear and pain, but also joy.

Why we humans cry in certain situations, is still controversial. In general, two different theses are distinguished:

  • Crying as a form of social behavior, ie communication and social interaction.
  • Crying as a protective reaction of our body and our psyche, through which the sensed emotions can be better processed.

To separate from emotional crying are tears that roll when something has flown into our eyes. Their function is clearly clarified: they help to remove the foreign body from the eye and protect the eye from drying out.

What are the tears?

Crying is associated with most people with tears. Tears are a salty body fluid produced by the lacrimal glands. Depending on the occasion, the chemical composition of tears may differ: for example, 'emotional' tears contain significantly more hormones such as prolactin than tears, which are produced to moisturize the eyeball. Likewise, emotional crying increases the concentration of potassium and manganese in the tears.

Crying: headache and swollen eyes

Anyone who has cried for a long time often has to deal with a headache afterwards. Why exactly the headache occurs is not yet finally resolved. Presumably they are caused by the tension and the effort of the body. Try to relax after crying if possible - take a walk, for example. In case of emergency, a headache tablet can help.

Another consequence of heavy crying is often swollen eyes. We have put together three tips for you, which helps against swollen eyes:

  • Cool your eyes with two tablespoons. Place the spoons in the freezer for a few minutes, then place them on your eyelids. Make sure that the spoons are not too cold.
  • Instead of using a spoon, you can also use a gel-filled eye mask to cool. Store the mask in the fridge with you - so you always have it in hand in case of emergency.
  • In addition to cooling, black tea also helps against swollen eyes through crying. Simply dip a teabag into lukewarm water for 30 seconds, squeeze it out and place it on your eyes.

Crying for no reason

If you have to cry more often without a reason, it can be for a variety of reasons. Often it affects severely stressed people who are with their forces at the end. With them, tears flow quickly, without there being a specific occasion. In order to do something against the overburden, you should create a list of all upcoming tasks. Then try to move or delegate less important tasks.

In addition to excessive demands, crying can also be caused by drugs without a reason. If you regularly take certain medications, you should take a look at the package leaflet to see if there are side effects such as 'depressive moods'. This is the case with many anti-baby pills, for example.

Crying more often for no reason can also be a sign of depression. In such a case, you should definitely visit a doctor and discuss with him the further course of action. Our self-test can also help you to find out if you may be suffering from depression. Here it goes to the depression test.

Crying while sleeping

During sleep, the information and emotions of the past day are processed and rearranged. That is why it is not so rare in emotionally stressful situations - such as after a separation or the death of a loved one - that you cry in your sleep. Because during sleep often pent-up or suppressed feelings. Waking up with tears in your eyes the next morning or waking up with your own sobs is a bit scary, but not dangerous.

If you cry more often during sleep, you should try to clear the triggering event and thereby reduce the burden. Because as long as you have not finished with the event, it can happen again and again that tears come to you in your sleep. In addition to a stressful event in the past, weeping in sleep can also be caused by future stress. Think about why you are afraid of the event and ask yourself if it is actually justified.

Crying: Helpful or not?

Whether crying has a positive effect on our mental health always depends on the individual case. In general, a 'soothing' cry helps to cope with goodbyes better. It is a normal part of mourning and therefore should not be suppressed. Not always, however, crying leads to an improvement of the mental state. Especially desperate, powerless sobs can have a negative effect on our mental health.

Whether or not crying is helpful also depends on the personality of the person concerned as well as the support of the people present. For example, crying is rated as positive if the person concerned was not alone. When consoling, one should be careful to be there for the other person at first and to listen without directly pressing for a change in the situation.

Differences between men and women

Men cry significantly less often than women on average. According to a study by the Ophthalmological Society, tears averaged 17 times a year in men, but 64 times in women. The reasons why men and women weep are also different: tears often flow down in women when there is a loss or in conflict situations. Men, on the other hand, cry more for separations or empathy.

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