Why tears should encourage you

June 5, 2012 in God Bumps,lessons for daughters

Tears

Manic Mother
For Mama Loves this week, I am linking up an old post. It isn’t a product I love. Rather, I love facts, new information about things in life that reminds me of the greatness of God.

I cry easily. My tear ducts are uncontrollable. Really. My husband doesn’t believe me. His tear ducts rarely misbehave. If I feel any emotion strongly from joy to anger to sadness, I cry. It was horrible as a teenager. Imagine the message I communicated if someone made me angry and I cried.  Or the embarrassment of crying when I got a C on a test when I was just frustrated that I couldn’t stop making dumb arithmetic mistakes. 

My Bird, she inherited my uncontrollable tear ducts (poor dear), and those tear ducts are not helpful on the competitive soccer field. And recently, as I cried with my mom over the loss of my grandma, we lamented the mind-of-their-own tears and how they made our noses run. I joked that God made it that way so we would stop eventually. 

Today, God gave me information that makes me want to scream to others, “Did you know this? Isn’t it so obvious there is a creator?” While reading our Mother/Daughter Devotion by Dannah Gresh, Gresh shared some tear facts after we read about Jesus weeping when Lazarus died. Amazing. 

So today I bring you a few facts on the science of tears as a God Bump. Maybe you and your daughter can review these on a tear-filled day while you soak in the fact that your creator gave you tears so you can handle all of life. 
  • We have three kinds of tears. Basal tears are almost constant and unnoticeable; they keep our eyes moist and we produce 5 to 10 ounces a day. Reflex tears are safety responses to irritants like dust or onions. And emotional tears form when stress triggers the endocrine system to make tears. Most believe that only humans produce emotional tears. 
  • Basal tears are produced continuously in both humans and animals. They drain through a passageway between the eye and the nose. They keep both the eyes and the nose moist. They contain an antibacterial chemical called lysozyme. It keeps both the eyes and the nose healthy.
  • Emotional tears have a different chemical make up than basal or reflex tears.  Reflex tears are mostly plain water. Emotional tears contain more protein-based hormones such as prolactin (the same hormone that controls milk production), adrenocorticotropic hormone (produced when we are stressed), and leucine enkephalin (a natural painkiller we make). So emotional tears are a way of lowering stress and ridding our body of biological toxins. 
  • If we cry hard, excess tears drain from our eyes through the lacrimal ducts into our nose. The tears mix with mucus and our noses run. 
  • Until puberty, boys and girls cry in equal amounts (personality not accounted for). After puberty, women are 4 times more likely to cry than men. Several things might explain this, women produce 60% more prolactin than men. Prolactin triggers the endocrine system so emotional tears are more likely. Also, most women have larger tear ducts than men so they produce more tears at once. 
Simply amazing. 
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    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Blond Duck June 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    At least I know my nose runs for a reason!

    Reply

    Melissa June 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Today is the first day in a week or so that I have not been teary over something … I was beginning to think I was going crazy (which still could be true, I guess). Thanks so much for sharing this! I like the fact that emotional tears are a way of reducing stress levels! I could use some of that!

    Reply

    Kerri S June 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    oh boy…have the tears been flowing this past week! i love the little fact of crying reducing stress…i need some of that stress relief and i am sure there are still some more tears to come!! thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

    Jennifer @Shine with Jennifer Leigh June 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. I never knew there was so much to learn about tears. I shouldn’t be surprised though! God is an amazing creator!

    Reply

    Carolyn June 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I cry easily too, glad I’m not the only one.

    Reply

    Tiffany June 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    This is terribly interesting! Thanks so much for sharing. I wonder if the hormone thing explains why I cry so much easier now than I ever did before having children.

    Reply

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