WASHINGTON: If you are someone who breaks down into tears in difficult times then you might be heading on a good path as according to a recent study a good cry can make a person feel much better in his situation.
Although humans are the only species able to shed emotional tears, little is known about the function of crying. While some researchers see it as a cry for support, comfort or help others believe that the main role of crying is to relieve emotions.
Researcher Asmir Gracanin and his team from the University of Tilburg examined the immediate and the delayed effect of crying on mood within a controlled laboratory setting during their study.
During the study two emotional films were shown to the participants after which the researchers noted that the mood of the non-criers was unchanged and unaffected immediately after seeing the films whereas the mood of the crierswas distinctively low and even took a dip.
Within 20 minutes, however, their mood had returned to the level reported before the screening and finally after 90 minutes, the criers reported even a better mood than was the case before the films started.
According to Gracanin, it is this dip and subsequent return of emotions to previous levels that might make criers feel as if they are in a much better mood after they have shed some tears.
He explained that after the initial deterioration of mood following crying, it takes some time for the mood not only to recover but also to be lifted above the levels at which it had been before the emotional event.
The study is published in the journal Motivation and Emotion.