The Real Reason Laughing Makes You Cry

There's nothing like a good laugh shared with friends or family. You may even laugh so hard that you end up in tears — but you aren't melancholy in the slightest. This strange phenomenon of laughing until you cry is more common than you think. Let's dive into why you may break down in tears while laughing.

While scientists don't have a specific reason for why crying may occur during laughter, there is evidence that laughing and crying are controlled by the same part of the brain (via LiveScience). In fact, there are even disorders that prompt pathological laughing and crying (PLC). This can be the result of a brain injury or neurological condition, further leading scientists to believe the same part of the brain is in charge of your emotions.

When our bodies are in an emotional state, sometimes our physical reactions are difficult to regulate. Some experts believe that the reason why tears may start flowing after laughter is a result of the body trying to regulate itself to a normal functioning response (via Salus University). No one wants to be giggling during a serious conference call, right?

Different types of tears we experience during laughter

Laughter can also produce tears due to the pressure put on our tear ducts from the shaking that occurs during fits of laughter. Referred to as reflex tears, these tears are triggered by environmental factors like dust, and are different from emotional tears (via LiveScience). Emotional tears actually have a completely different makeup, researchers say, and often contain more hormones.

These emotional tears also contain endorphins, which may be why some people say they feel better after a good cry. Laughter also releases feel-good hormones, while decreasing stress hormones, according to experts at Salus University. This means laughing can serve as an enjoyable form of stress relief

So whether you're crying tears of joy or sadness, just know your body is working to make you feel better. Laughter is said to be the best medicine, so don't let any possible crying stop your fun!