Despite the fact that human beings cry for many reasons, and that they even pretend to cry in certain situations (and that the composition of those tears is chemically different), there are few studies that delve into analyzing tears that arise only from positive feelings.
This study , however, has done so, finding up to four types of positive tears: tears of achievement, tears of beauty, tears of affection, and tears of fun.
Physiologists have found that the chemical content of emotional tears is different from that of basal or continuous tears, whose function is to lubricate the eyes. Because those of emotion have more proteins and more hormones related to stress .
In addition, tears can appear for positive reasons but that differ from each other in some nuances.
The study indicates that, although several experts acknowledge the existence of tears of joy, there is little systematic theoretical or empirical evidence on how positive tears are experienced, what causes them, what actions or impulses motivate the crying person, how they differ from tears of sadness or anguish and if there are different types .
Thus, these problems have been systematically investigated and a first taxonomic model of positive tears has been written based on more than 1,500 reports of positive tears and including 13,124 participants from 40 countries and 24 languages . The taxonomy is as follows:
- Tears of achievement : in contexts of extraordinary performance or when someone overcomes an obstacle and often includes feelings of pride.
- Tears of beauty : situations of overwhelming elegance or beauty, including nature, music or the visual arts, and present feelings of wonder.
- Tears of affection : situations that include unexpected kindness or exceptional love, such as wedding ceremonies or gatherings, and often present feelings of warmth.
- Tears of fun : when something especially funny happens and includes feelings of fun or lightness and the inclination to laugh.