When sadness invades our brain

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Robert Maurer
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When sadness invades our brain

Last update: May 10, 2015

Sadness is one of the most basic emotions of the human being, is that feeling that for one reason or another captures our soul, turns us off and forces us to look within ourselves for reasons and explanations.

They say they are right storms to make tree roots grow. This is why these moments of sadness are often considered the true advocates of knowledge, because this is how we learn some things about ourselves. We therefore come out fortified by a process through which we have obtained the knowledge necessary to move forward, to strengthen a little more the armor that life has given us, because, to respond to adversity, we must know how to defend ourselves.



But what happens inside our brains in these moments? Why do we feel this way when sadness envelops him like a spider's web?

When the brain wants to cry

According to psychiatry and psychology experts, the brain is better prepared to deal with this emotion than all the others. If we notice, it is a saddened face that causes more empathy: we recognize it immediately and we have a tendency to support the people who are experiencing this feeling.

Sadness is understandable and uses its own language. Tears also act as a defense and release mechanism: it is a way of releasing the tension that this emotion causes in our brain. Now let's see what other elements come into play.

  • Sadness affects the brain: the organism and the brain need more oxygen and more glucose during these emotional processes; the brain feels stressed and collapsed due to all these sensations and emotions, therefore it needs more "fuel" to function. Given the expenditure of energy, this state causes us more fatigue. Sadness tires us, and when we are very tired, we can't even shed tears. Nobody can cry for a whole day, it is an action that takes place in small episodes and not continuously.
  • Loss of sensation for sweet in the taste buds. It is curious, but when we go through these moments of sadness, the brain no longer receives the sensation of sweet with the same intensity: the number of receptors in the tongue decreases and we cannot fully grasp the flavor. For this reason we usually start eating more, we look for more sweet things because we can't find the same pleasure as before.
  • Low level of serotonin. When we live these periods of severe sadness, the brain stops producing adequate amounts of serotonin. A deficiency in this neurotransmitter causes the dreaded depression, compulsive obsession or even small bouts of violence to occur sooner or later.. The brain is a complex machine that, when faced with situations of stress, anxiety, fears, etc., alters the production of neurotransmitters and this always affects our behavior.

Sadness allows us to learn from what we have lived and this is its main value.



The brain is a magnificent organ capable of self-managing after some time. It has various defense mechanisms, by means of which it protects us, recording in our memory the memories that can make us learn and the situations that can help us to get out of the tide of sadness.


Being able to cry and knowing how to seek support around us are undoubtedly two adequate tools to overcome these common moments in a person's life.

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