Health: Sweat and Tears Communicate Emotions

We all know our blood is the life of our body. It is kept within specific levels and having healthy blood is critical to overall health. But do you just consider sweat and tears to be just random fluids leaving your body for different reasons? You may be surprised to know just how unique and specific they are to you personally.

There are three different types of tears your body produces: basal tears which protect and lubricate your eyes, reflex tears released in response to irritants like dust, onions, smoke or wind and emotional tears. While all three are a combination of salt water, oils, antibodies, and enzymes they each look very different when examined under a microscope.

The ability to cry and produce tears play a role in helping you identify your own feelings. Dr. William Frey discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears release these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” Humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears. Shedding tears is actually a safe and effective way to deal with stress and sadness.

But what about sweating? While it’s definitely an avenue of detoxification and a means of regulating body temperature, your sweat can also communicate emotions. Maybe you’ve seen the deodorant commercial of the girl trying to dry her armpits on a hand dryer in a rest room with the take away being that stress sweat smells different from other sweat. Well it seems that is true.

Emotionally-induced sweating communicates what you are feeling and research reveals that the scent in sweat will tell you how others are feeling. Psychologists collected sweat samples from 10 men in an experiment as they watched videos designed to evoke feelings of fear or disgust. Thirty-six women were then asked whether they could detect any emotional cues hidden in the sweat samples. The researchers found when women were exposed to fear-derived sweat samples, their own facial expressions suggested fear and when they were exposed to disgust-based sweat samples, their faces mirrored that emotion as well.

So, far from just being a smelly fluid, sweat seems to be to be a rather effective means of transmitting an emotional state from one person to another. It highlights just how fearfully and wonderfully we are created, right down to our tears and sweat!

Have you ever been able to “smell” fear or disgust on someone?

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About amusico

I am a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. All my coaching plans are based on my 3-D Living program and a big part of that are the Youngevity Products and Supplements I proudly offer! Visit my website at and learn more about the products and my coaching plans!
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7 Responses to Health: Sweat and Tears Communicate Emotions

  1. Holly Scherer says:

    This is some of the coolest information I’ve read in a long time. Who knew? Now I’m going to be smelling everyone’s sweat. Great post!

  2. debwilson2 says:

    Ann, this is so interesting. When our pets would come back for some trauma, like surgery, they smelled the same yucky scent. I think it was distress. I’ve heard dogs can smell if you are afraid of them. This would explain why. Wow!

  3. Pingback: Happiness and Health: Surprising Connection | 3-D Vitality

  4. Laura says:

    This is wonderful information to have validated! I’ve always felt better after crying! I love that it’s our bodies way of releasing stress hormones.

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