Tears of Sadness, Tears of Joy

Watery eyes, weeping or crying with sadness or trauma. Watery eyes, weeping and crying with joy and happiness; spontaneous gratitude. Weeping or crying ‘stand’ in the middle and either side, opposing emotions manifest themselves with a similar result. Eyes watering can be bad news or wonderful news.

Both are naturally emotionally driven.

Most people recognize someone with watery eyes, weeping, or outwardly crying is suffering from sadness, trauma, or loss of a loved one.

Being watery-eyed or weeping can be stimulated by positive emotions‎. Such as unexpected joy and happiness, a strong feeling after being given a very special, personally relevant gift. Or receiving words of warmth, supreme friendliness, and love. Also, meeting loved ones or family after many years apart; perhaps living in different countries. Hugging each other; mutual weeping. Releasing perhaps pent-up emotions.

What stimulates tears? What stimulates or prompts such a potentially dramatic display of emotion.

Some people keep; hide their emotions, traumas to themselves; inwards. Confined within the heart; never the less still present. A lump in the throat, inward emotion, facial expression, and posture but not weeping or crying. Other individuals will release their feelings with cascades of tears; ‘sobbing their hearts out’.

Yet again, the heart is a crucial and key point of emotion; negative or positive.

Men may have tended to hide their feelings, as any demonstration of emotion; especially when generated by negative happenings, may be seen as a sign of weakness.‎ An Englishman, in particular, may not be inclined to show any emotion when in the company of others. The phrase being a ‘stiff upper lip’. This does not mean to say that emotion is not felt, but not an overt display of sadness or grief. No release. There may be facial tensions that intimate some form of unpleasant experience. In more recent times men have released their feelings resulting in tears‎ and accompanying facial expressions. This is a good thing.

After being ‘processed’ by the brain and mind on receiving news, physical feelings of emotion commence in the upper abdomen, rising to the heart. Hence ‘heartache’, ‘broken heart’ ‘heartfelt’,  ‘disheartening’.‎

An individual may place a hand over their heart in an expression of empathy towards someone who would benefit from such an action.

There are for some reason, more expressions addressing sadness than happiness when it comes to the heart. ‎ But perhaps the heart-lifting elements ultimately override any destructive influences. Here, positivity plays a rôle.

A similar process kicks in when joyous, happy events are presented or revealed. ‘Hearty congratulations’
‎’heart lifting’.

The expression ‘heart and mind’; a unity of intellectual and emotional ‎elements.

The heart does  ‘calls the shots’.

Facial expressions reveal all, and even when wearing facemasks, the eyes tell all. Eyes can reveal emotion, surprise, and shock, love, and humor.

Why is emotion, prompted by bad or good experiences released by weeping, crying, sobbing, or watery eyes and an intense feeling in the heart? ‎

When presented with ecstatic, wonderful news; a birth of a child, grandchild, a feeling of supreme Peace on walking in pristine, overwhelmingly beautiful countryside, listening to music that brings back memories of earlier days. Happiness embraces the individual; serenity and tranquility form a curtain of supreme wonderment.

Music can link a memory and have an extraordinary effect. Music connects instantly with a past event.

I have described an experience in another essay, where the Son et Lumièr lit up the Grand Place in Brussels, where Vangelis’ awesome ‘1492, Paradise Conquered’ lifted the spirits, carrying an observer and listening to an almost divine level of consciousness. Just on writing the title transports me back to that very moment over twenty years’ ago.

Another, Marianne Faithful’s ‘As Tears Go By’, written by Mick Jagger‎ and other members of the Rolling Stones.  Beautifully gentle words and a voice on an angel, the words and music combine to bless the day.  The lyrics that Marianne Faithful sings are full of sadness, but beautifully, moving words. The Rolling Stones also sang it, but nothing could replace Marianne Faithful’s gently emotional tone enhancing the moments.

‘It is the evening of the day, I sit and watch the children play, Smiling faces I can see, but not for me, I sit and watch as tears go by.’ just key in ‘As Tears Go By and Marianne Faithful and the Rolling Stones will be presented.‎ Let me have your thoughts on listening to this emotional song. The song brought about soft emotions, guided by the heart. Memories of dancing with a girlfriend many, many years’ ago; a gentle dance at the end of an evening at a holiday school. A ‘smooch’ as it was called then. So innocent. So moving, could almost make the eyes fill with tears.

Weeping and crying is a crucial part of a healing process.‎ Releasing emotions, otherwise remaining imprisoned in the heart,  returning to ‘haunt’ the individual when a sound or sight prompts memories.

Happiness certainly can bring about tears of joy! Remembering vividly joyous moments, sharing them with a loved one who also has vivid recollections of an event.

In conclusion, be aware, but not obviously alert to someone who may need some comfort because of an unpleasant memory.

Uplifted Heart
Join in the laughter and pure thrill of remembering a truly wonderful happening that can bring about a heart full of ecstatic thoughts and a few watery eyes.

The heart plays a major role in our lives and should never be overlooked. Follow the heart. It leads emotions and guides those who believe in its gentle influence.

Lift up your hearts. Attract positive vibes.


Simon Lever
Simon Lever
Prior to his retirement, Simon engaged in software and services sector search and recruitment for American companies around Europe. He has retained the enjoyment of engaging with people from other countries and cultures. His energies are now directed towards voluntary community activities, journaling, and exhibition stewardship. He is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. As an Exhibition Steward, at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral, he is responsible for guiding visitors from the world over, around the award-winning 'Kings and Scribes Exhibition', which includes the 900-year-old Winchester Bible. The exhibition introduces visitors to Winchester's historical significance as a former capital of England. Simon's journaling activities are published on BizCatalyst 360° and accompanying posts on LinkedIn, He acknowledges the inspiration afforded him by Carol Campos of Massachusetts: Life Strategist, Writer, and Intuitive Business Leader who introduced him to writing with feeling; from the heart. Simon's forté is creative writing; the accent on the natural environment, transforming feelings, emotions, sights, sounds, and scents of Mother Nature's landscape; hills and rivers and woodland into words, transporting the reader to the locations. Essays include accounts of his life in former days. Instinctively writing in such a spontaneous manner, descriptions become life-like. His often emotionally charged writing, whether describing a surreal 'Son et Lumière' at the Grand Place in Brussels to experiences acquired during European business travel. Journaling and Exhibition Steward activities are his key sources of inspiration and creativity. Kindness is ever more important, where he is a promoter of Shelly Elsliger PPCC's 'Decide to be Kind' Campaign. Simon champions Positivity, Empathy, and Kindness and has been described as a 'Beacon of Positivity'.

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  1. Tears of stress and frustration contain a higher level of cortisol (I believe) than they normally do. I don’t know if something similar has been analyzed for tears of joy. But you raise a very good question, Simon, why do we cry when we are happy? Is it a signal to others that our heart is touched?

    I have a thing with organ music. Better stock up on handkerchiefs before heading to any service, joyful or not.

    • Dear Charlotte,

      I really do appreciate your comments which are so meaningful and also make answers even more pertinent. The heart certainly rules. But the same reaction (tears, not negative or positive emotion) are a direct link. Yes, some music; organ music can certainly call for a handkerchief! Music is certainly a stimulant and accompanied by a movie enhances the emotions, brining both senses into play, with the conductor being the heart.

  2. I really loved this, Simon. I’m a huge fan of having a good ol’ big cry. There are times when I’m feeling down or anxious and can’t put my finger on the cause. At those times, I often look for a movie (or a scene in a movie) that I KNOW will evoke tears. It doesn’t always look pretty, but I feel so much more at peace.

    • Dear Carol,

      Thank you so much. Evoking tears viewing a movie, plus the music will as you say bring about tears. Tears are therapeutic, releasing emotions and gracing the heart. The heart will respond, edging on the tears, but tears of sadness and tears of happiness are linked by some form of entity when understand not. The 1945 movie ‘Brief Encounter’ staring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard is accompanied by the undulating music of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto for Piano -2- makes it challenging not to prompt watery eyes. It is one of my favorite movies, Black and white too! The English is gloriously ‘clipped’ – rather delightfully ‘posh’. Thank you everso, Carol. Great chatting with you the other day!!

    • Dear Kimberly,

      I have to say how humbled I am by your warm words. I really do mean that. You certainly make a difference to a day. And the gift is for you. Thanks everso, Kimberly.