VanDyk Mortgage - September 2021

WHY YOU SHOULD CRY The Science Behind Sad and Mad Tears

Ronda Rousey is tough. She was the first American woman to earn a medal in the Olympics for judo, and she was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame to commemorate her six titles. Rousey is noted for her physical and mental toughness, so it might surprise you to learn that she loves a good cry.

Emotional tears have higher levels of ACTH, a stress hormone released by crying. They also have higher levels of endorphins and oxytocin, which are known to reduce both stress and pain. Crying and Your Health The benefits of crying have been explored by everyone from ancient philosophers to modern-day scientists. While philosophers noted the cathartic effects of crying, scientists have filled in the knowledge gaps about why crying feels good and how it’s actually good for us. The stress-reducing benefits of crying don’t just feel good in the moment. There are several secondary benefits such as: • Lower blood pressure, which keeps your heart healthy and helps you avoid stroke, heart failure, and dementia • Lower manganese levels, which helps decrease anxiety, irritability, and aggression • Decreased risk of ulcers and other digestive issues • Decreased risk of tension headaches and migraines Finally, crying serves an important social role. Tears elicit sympathy, signal that something is wrong, and facilitate connection during hard times. If you find yourself having chronic or uncontrollable bouts of tears, something else may be going on and you should seek professional help. But if you find yourself crying when stressed, angry, or sad, embrace your tears, knowing they’re helping make you healthier both mentally and physically.

“I really cry all the time … Everything [makes me cry]. Especially during fight week,” she told the Huffington Post.

The most famous mystery spot is in Santa Cruz, California, but it has cousins in Oregon, West Virginia, and Michigan. Each one is inexplicable — drawing thousands of people every year to come and spend their tourist dollars. And for many, the whole thing is just one big hoax, designed to take in suckers and generate cash. Although Santa Cruz has the most visitors, it was “inspired” by the Oregon Vortex, which was a spot that had odd occurrences “documented” back to the early frontier days. From a mining office sliding off its foundation to the high presence of optical illusions, the Vortex was the home to some odd events. Naturally, the thing to do was build a structure there and start taking people’s money! It’s not a coincidence that these locations began to pop up at the same time as the average American got access to automobiles — “roadside attractions” of all kinds have been the rage since people Nothing to See Here A HISTORY OF THE MYSTERY SPOT While crying is more often associated with weakness than strength, the science of the tears we shed when we’re emotional — including feelings of anger, sadness, and stress — shows that crying actually makes us healthier. More Than Just Water Before you cry, you may feel a welling up of tears in your eyes that makes them appear watery. While tears of all types are mainly made up of water, scientists say that they are distinguished by their chemical makeup. Biochemist Dr. William H. Frey produced foundational scientific research on the science of crying. He collected tears from research participants who cried while watching a sad movie and compared their tears to participants who cried because of a cut onion. Frey said the emotional tears were not only unique to humans but that they’re also a “unique kind of tear.” Their unique chemical makeup has both a detoxifying and stress-reducing effect.

began to tour America by car, and it’s pretty clear that, real or not, these mystery spots fall into that category. That’s why many of them have updated over the years to suit changing tastes — such as the Michigan St. Ignace Mystery Spot’s addition of zip lines and other attractions. And unlike many other roadside attractions, mystery spots continue to draw attention. Something in the American psyche loves the idea of the paranormal; Google “Europe mystery spots” and you’re likely to discover lists of unique vacation destinations. Perhaps they recapture the “paradise is just over the hill” mystery that in part drove colonization of the American West.

Or perhaps it’s all a bunch of hooey. The best way to decide, of course, is to visit one of these mystery spots for yourself!

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