Have you ever experienced tears streaming down your face during moments of pure joy? It's a fascinating phenomenon that seems contradictory at first glance. After all, why would tears accompany such positive emotions? Whether it's witnessing a heartwarming reunion, achieving a long-awaited goal, or even during the joyous climax of a movie, our tears seem to flow uncontrollably.
Sumalatha Vasudeva, Psychologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru, explained the reason behind tears of joy.
Vasudeva said, “Tears of joy serve as a profound expression of extreme emotion. They emerge when we accomplish something long-awaited or encounter challenges that demand immense eﬀort. Though society often perceives crying as a negative emotion, it is, in fact, a crucial mechanism that regulates and balances our emotional state.” Tears of joy communicate our satisfaction with our experiences, while simultaneously conveying the significance and specialness of the moment.
According to research by the Association for Psychological Science, happy tears occur when emotions are so strong they become uncontrollable. You might cry or scream (perhaps both) to assist release those emotions when they start to consume you.
The Significance of Achievement
Vasudeva highlighted, “Tears of joy are often triggered by significant accomplishments. Whether it's winning a game, securing a dream job, giving birth, or graduating, these milestones symbolise personal growth and the fulfilment of aspirations.
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Emotional Regulation and Release
Crying, including tears of joy, is a natural mechanism that helps regulate our emotions. The tears we shed in these moments can represent a release from the weight of past challenges. It's as if the tears carry the burden of our past and wash it away, allowing us to fully embrace the present moment of happiness. By shedding tears of joy, we find solace, relief, and catharsis, thereby restoring our emotional well-being. It's a way for our emotions to reset and renew.
Vasudeva said, “Tears of joy serve as a nonverbal form of communication, conveying others the depth of our emotions. They are an authentic and tangible expression of our feelings, illustrating our genuine happiness and fulfilment. In this way, tears of joy become a powerful tool for connecting with others and sharing our most cherished moments.”
Tears of joy represent a dimorphous expression, blending both positive and negative elements. While joy itself is undoubtedly positive, the act of crying can be perceived as negative due to societal norms. However, tears of joy challenge this notion, demonstrating that crying can also manifest as a result of overwhelming happiness, transcending the boundaries of conventional emotion.
Vasudeva concluded, “Joy is a powerful and uncontrollable feeling. Its magnitude can sometimes surpass our capacity for verbal expression, leading to a physiological response like tears of joy. These tears become an outlet for the immense happiness and delight that we experience, reﬂecting the profound impact of the moment on our lives.”
This article contains information provided by the expert and is for informational purposes only.