ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Crying Real Tears and Having a Good Sob

Updated on March 26, 2011
My son, when I wouldn't let him have a biscuit - I'm aware that I could have him taken from me for this kind of child cruelty.
My son, when I wouldn't let him have a biscuit - I'm aware that I could have him taken from me for this kind of child cruelty.

It's perfectly normal, really.

Chatting to my friend yesterday, I realised that I haven't cried for a long time. She told me that she cries when she gets angry, that she blubbers away and it sort of negates her argument when she's in the middle of a good row. As she said that I realised that it's been a long time since I had a good cry. You know the kind, the proper sobbing with tears streaming down the face enough to require a hankie, the kind that leaves you feeling much better afterwards?

Thinking about this led me to wonder what it is about crying that can possibly make a person feel better. So let's have a little chat about that, shall we?

First of all let us analyse the different kinds of crying.


Silent crying

Silent crying can be done intentionally or unintentionally. Have you ever been watching a chick-flick with another person in the room, a really bad one, and something unexpectedly catches you by the throat and forms a lump, and threatens to burst out in the form of a choked sob? But you have to force yourself to stay composed, to concentrate very hard on not letting any tears escape your bottom lids, to will your tear ducts to drain especially quickly incase any of the other people in the room turn and see your eyes glistening in the light from the TV. And you dare not breathe very much incase you start to make those strange little rapid exhalations from the nose, evidence of an approaching sob. That kind of crying is intentionally silent, out of necessity. It would be shameful to be caught crying during a viewing of Bridget Jones.

Unintentional silent crying is much simpler. It's the kind of crying you might do when one of your children says something or does something kind unexpectedly, and you feel that you might burst with pride. Just one or two very small tears moisten the eyelashes, and the breathing does not alter. During this brief form of crying, speech is even possible without fear of the voice cracking or wavering.


Crying with laughter

This type of crying can be incredibly satisfying, but also particularly exhausting. Laughing so hard until tears stream down the face is a very good form of exercise. Unfortunately it is difficult to achieve this state of uncontrollable hilarity without formal training or a brand new DVD of Frankie Boyle or Sean Lock.

Warning: My partner has almost died with sobbing laughter on no less than four occasions when watching his favourite stand up comedians. Laughing to the point of savage tears is good exercise, but like any fitness regime, it should be used in moderation to avoid the risk of burn out and/or heart attack. People who suffer from asthma should seek medical advice before trialling this method of crying.


Crying that won't stop

This kind of crying is usually not to be laughed at, because it will typically have stemmed from some kind of grief or depression. Very sad, very serious, let's leave it alone, since we cannot give it a hug here.

However, sometimes you can experience this kind of crying for less serious reasons. It is then often dry-eyed, but accompanied by a variety of loud noises, ranging from a long drawn out moan to a hysterical screaming. Criers may often alternate between the moan and the scream, using a whimper from time to time when in need of a rest. The reasons for this cry could range from a relationship break up at the age of sixteen, to a misunderstanding over a stolen chip in the school canteen. In either case the only really effective solution is to issue the crier with a sharp slap across the face, and to offer some encouraging words of support such as 'Get A Grip!'. A good word to describe the kind of person who indulges in this kind of cry is 'wallower'.

But none of these are the kind of cry I am trying to find. I am looking for the whole body and soul cry, the one that cleanses the entire being, and leaves it feeling as though is has had a full massage and an enema. What I am wanting to experience is the kind of cry that requires a whole packet of those tissues with balsam on them that come in sevens. I might even need a cushion to clutch against my chest and under my chin with both arms, to stop my lungs and heart from falling out when I find this cry. The cry, which I will find, will make the tears flow fast and free, will make my nose run, and will make my breath come in short bursts that are impossible to spell but sound something like hiccuping gasps. My face will crumple into a frown and I will start to get a slight headache above the eyes. But be in no doubt, I will be enjoying myself enormously, and when I regain my composure I will be smiling a huge smile of relief.

I made some small attempts at achieving this state of emotional instability this morning, under the pretense of educating my youngest son in the classics - the Disney classics. Since it was a cold and damp morning, I had the perfect excuse for putting on Mary Poppins. I have often cried at some of the songs from that film. In particular, the song in which Jane and Michael recite their list of requirements for a new nanny has me in floods. 'Feed the Birds' is also a special favourite. But try as I might, today I could only squeeze out a quarter of a hankie's worth. Simply not good enough.

I will not give up. It has now become my mission, to enjoy the perfect sobbing session. I foresee the situation necessitating drastic measures: I am going to have to buy a DVD copy of West Side Story. And if that big gun fails, then it's going to have to be daddy of all weepers, Schindler's List. That will definitely do the trick.

But why do I feel the need to have a good cry? Let's have a very brief look at what happens when emotional tears are shed (brief because it's after midnight, and I'm very tired).

Some scientists believe that certain stress-related and stress-reducing hormones and chemicals are present in emotional tears, that are not detected in the tears shed when peeling onions or cycling into a strong wind on a dusty main road.1 Crying emotional tears could be our body's way of ridding itself of these used products. It could also be a way of getting rid of toxins that become present during times of stress. Prolactin seems to be a key word that stands out for me - I must be full of it right now, because I can find no other explanation for my need to cry. It is still somewhat of a mystery. Prolactin is prevalent in women at certain hormonal times of their lives, and can cause them to feel the need to cry. I have no stresses, no reasons to feel depressed, and I hardly ever even feel low (yes, I know, I'm very lucky), so chemicals are all that's left.

I will investigate this strange phenomenon further, since I sense that I have only scratched the surface. Check back at a later date for news of my scientific findings...


1.http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/other-emotions/crying1.htm


Update, 26th March 2011: I found my cry, as I was listening to the Rocky IV soundtrack!  Who'd've thunk?!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)