A human body is full of discoveries. There’s so much in our body that even an entire lifespan won’t be enough to know why and how everything functions. It makes you experience zillions of emotions and each emotion leads to an action. While you may shout or throw objects when in anger, you might just want to give someone a tight hug when you’re happy. But there are two extreme emotions which sometimes lead to a similar result.
Tears often roll down your cheeks when you’re sad, but they also roll down your eyes when you laugh too hard. Have you ever wondered why happiness and sorrow, despite being two extreme emotions have a similar outcome?
According to a research at the University of Maryland, it’s said that both laughing and crying happens when there is high emotional arousal. Mentally, laughing and crying are similar responses. There’s a study which suggests that the same part of the brain is responsible for both crying and laughing. Wounds or lesions (as they are called in medical terms) in certain parts of our brains have been linked to a disorder associated with ‘uncontrollable outbursts’ of laughter or sadness, called pathological laughter and crying.
But this is not all. There are more reasons to it.
Another study states that when extreme pressure is put on our tear ducts either because of our body shaking or vigorous laughter, the tears that come out are called reflex tears. Reflex tears are a result of airborne irritants or winds and are different than the emotional tears. In contrast to the reflex tears, tear drops that come out of emotion contain more hormones like leucine-enkephalin, which is a natural painkiller.
Moreover, there are two hormones cortisol and adrenaline related to stress. Cortisol is released due to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. Adrenaline is another hormone produced by the adrenal gland that makes your heart beat faster, strengthens the force of your heart’s contraction, and also open up the bronchioles in the lungs. Hence, both laughing and crying prevent the effects of these stress-related hormones.
Therefore, as long as it’s releasing stress, you can be happy about shedding more and more tears of joy than shed tears of sorrow.