Joy and sorrow - why tears are important

Some people have built close to the water, so they quickly burst into tears. Others always bite their teeth and never cry. But tears should not be suppressed. "Crying is important to process feelings, so tears should not be suppressed, " says Dr. Jörg Lauterberg, doctor and psychologist at the AOK Bundesverband. "That applies to all people - regardless of age and gender." First of all, tears have a protective role for the eyes. The tear fluid is constantly produced by the lacrimal glands present there and forms a protective film that keeps the eye moist and rinses away dirt and dust. This is also the reason why our eyes "run" when they get irritated, for example by a foreign body: more tears are produced to wash away the intruder.

Mental hygiene

But tears are not only responsible for eye cleansing; they are also important for mental hygiene. As they wash out an unpleasant stimulus, weeping often has a liberating and tension-relieving effect on strong emotions. "An Indian knows no pain" and "Men do not cry" - with such proverbs especially children are asked not to show their pain. Grief, pain and suffering belong to life just as much as joy and happiness.

"Children should not be prohibited from crying, but comfort them when they are sad, " says Jörg Lauterberg. Even adults should not suppress their feelings. But they can not give their tears free rein in every situation. "In our culture, too, the mastery of emotions is an important skill and is seen as an expression of professionalism, for example: in the care of accident victims, a paramedic must react quickly and not be influenced by emotions in this situation."

Feelings and glands

Even those who are particularly happy or touched shed so many tears. Crying is thus an expression of very opposite feelings. How is that coming?

Dr. Lauterberg: "The glands in the human body are stimulated by the autonomic nervous system, which is also in close connection with the center of feeling in the brain." In a strong emotion, for example anger, grief or great joy, the body reacts in different ways It stimulates the release of hormones into the bloodstream - for example, adrenaline - but also for the production of fluids such as sweat or tears. " This physical reaction is often only loosely related to the feelings that trigger it.

Goose bumps not only by cold

Similar to the production of tears happens, for example, with a "goose bumps" explains Jörg Lauterberg: "Who is afraid or frightens, the overflows an unpleasant shower, while the small hairs on the body surface, the same happens sometimes in one positive experience: Even with a tender touch you get goose bumps. "

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