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Why do we Cry? The Psychology of Tears

0610-why-we-cry-1154My dog died.  I just got engaged. An earthquake leaves thousands homeless. “Time in a Bottle” comes on the radio. I passed my college physics exam. My best friend has leukemia. My daughter just gave birth to twins. Another senseless terror attack takes innocent lives. Jimmy Stewart’s friends and neighbors all rally to his defense at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It would be hard to compose a more random grouping, would it not? Taken individually, the items on this list seem so far removed from one another that anyone having the same emotional response to every one of them might reasonably be diagnosed as schizophrenic.

Well, maybe schizophrenic is what we are, since any of them could send any of us into a spell of sniffles, if not outright sobbing.

Which has to make us wonder:  why do we cry? We all know when we cry.

We cry when we’re sad, and we cry when we’re happy. We cry when we’re lonely, when we’re in pain, when we hear bad news, and when we hear good news. We cry when we’re so overwhelmed with work or debt or family or life in general that we can no longer cope, and we cry when we’re so filled with joy that we want hug the world.

But what do all these highs and lows have in common? And why is crying our natural, involuntary reaction to emotional intensity?

Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/why-do-we-cry/