The reason for the lump in our throat when we cry
The Reason for the Lump in Our Throat When We Cry
Crying is a natural and instinctive response to various emotions such as sadness, joy, anger, or even relief. It is a way for our bodies to release pent-up emotions and provide us with a sense of relief. However, when we cry, we often experience a lump in our throat, also known as the “globus sensation.” This sensation can be uncomfortable and may make it difficult to swallow or speak. But what exactly causes this lump in our throat when we cry? In this essay, we will explore the physiological and psychological factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
Physiologically, the lump in our throat when we cry is primarily caused by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. When we experience intense emotions, such as sadness or grief, our body’s fight-or-flight response is triggered. This response prepares our body to either confront the threat or flee from it. As a part of this response, our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated, leading to various physiological changes in our body.
One of the physiological changes that occur during the fight-or-flight response is the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, preparing our body for action. Additionally, the sympathetic nervous system also causes the muscles in our body to tense up, including the muscles in our throat.
When we cry, the muscles in our throat contract due to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This contraction can lead to a feeling of tightness or a lump in our throat. The muscles involved in this sensation are the muscles of the larynx, also known as the voice box. These muscles control the opening and closing of the vocal cords, allowing us to produce sound. When they contract, they can interfere with the normal movement of the vocal cords, resulting in the sensation of a lump in our throat.
Furthermore, crying also leads to an increase in the production of mucus in our throat. The increased mucus production is a protective mechanism of our body to soothe and protect the irritated tissues in our throat. However, this excess mucus can contribute to the sensation of a lump in our throat, making it feel even more uncomfortable.
Apart from the physiological factors, there are also psychological factors that contribute to the lump in our throat when we cry. Emotions such as sadness or grief can be overwhelming, and they often manifest physically in our body. The lump in our throat can be seen as a physical manifestation of the emotional pain we are experiencing.
Psychologically, the lump in our throat can be attributed to the activation of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including swallowing and vocalization. When we experience intense emotions, the vagus nerve becomes activated, leading to changes in our throat muscles and the sensation of a lump.
Moreover, the lump in our throat can also be linked to the connection between our emotions and our memories. When we cry, we often recall past experiences or memories that are associated with the emotions we are feeling. These memories can trigger a strong emotional response, leading to the lump in our throat. The connection between our emotions and memories is complex and can vary from person to person, but it is an important aspect to consider when understanding the lump in our throat when we cry.
In conclusion, the lump in our throat when we cry is a result of both physiological and psychological factors. Physiologically, the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the contraction of the muscles in our throat contribute to this sensation. Additionally, the increase in mucus production also plays a role in the feeling of a lump. Psychologically, the activation of the vagus nerve and the connection between our emotions and memories further contribute to this phenomenon. Understanding the reasons behind the lump in our throat when we cry can help us better cope with our emotions and provide comfort to those experiencing this sensation.