The Zoomer Report: Tears

If you feel the need, do what the song says: Go ahead and cry. Tears are good for you.

Just as sweat removes salt, tears have a purpose too.

According to the Oprah doctors Oz and Roizen, when you shed emotional tears in moments of intense feeling, they carry stress hormones and wash them away. The urge to cry also signals that you’ve reached a level of stress that’s bad for your health.

But here’s the amazing thing: Emotional tears are just one of three types of good-for-you tears your body makes, and each is chemically different from the other two:

Basal tears are produced continuously to keep your eyes lubricated and prevent damage from air currents and bits of floating debris.

Irritant tears are produced when flying grit, insects, intense fumes and light bother your eyes and need to be flushed out. Emotional tears, as we said, are released in moments of intense emotion and help to get rid of those stress hormones.

It seems humans are the only animals who cry. And when you feel a good cry coming on, remember that showing your vulnerability can help soothe the bad effects of stress.

Photo © Richard Foreman


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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