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This universal and uniquely human emotional expression can be elicited by a plethora of events, from those seemingly mundane and unimportant to the most crucial events in one’s life, and ranging from extremely negative to extremely positive experiences (Vingerhoets, 2013).
For example, watching a movie or enjoying the beauty of nature may both make an individual tearful, just as the passing away of attachment figures or birth of a child. doi: 10.1159/000288598 Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | Cross Ref Full Text Willemsen-Swinkels, S.
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We start with the definition of crying and description of its intra- and inter-individual functions, which is followed by a brief reflection on the concept of self-soothing, how it can be defined, and how it relates to several kindred concepts. We then provide a comprehensive review of the putative mood-enhancing and -relieving effects of crying and their variations stemming from characteristics of crying person, antecedents, manifestations, and social consequences of crying.We also discuss the possible methodological explanations for the seemingly discrepant findings regarding mood improvement and relief that may follow crying.We then provide theoretical and empirical support for our general hypothesis that crying is a self-soothing behavior by presenting and evaluating the possible physiological, cognitive, and behavioral mechanisms that may play a mediating role in the relationship between crying and homeostatic regulation that includes mood improvement and relief. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.96.3.395 Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | Cross Ref Full Text © 2014 Gračcanin, Bylsma and Vingerhoets.Starting from the idea that social-soothing and self-soothing mechanisms share the same physiological systems, we propose that biological processes act in parallel with learning and reappraisal processes that accompany crying, which results in homeostatic regulation. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).