The researchers claim when your wife cries with happiness on your wedding day or when you cry generally when you are happy, you are responding to a happy experience with a negative reaction.
Oriana Aragon, the Yale psychologist who led the study never understood why people cried when they are happy and she claims it never made sense to her. I think she isn’t alone here because it never made sense to me too.
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Oriana Aragon thinks she now understands why we cry when we are happy after conducting a series of studies into seemingly incongruous expressions. “People may be restoring emotional equilibrium with these expressions,”
she explained. “They seem to take place when people are overwhelmed with strong positive emotions and people who do this seem to recover better from those strong emotions.”
After measuring the participants’ response to to cute babies or happy reunions, they discovered that individuals who express negative reactions to positive news were able to moderate intense emotions more quickly.
So according to the research, tears of joy are helpful because it helps people manage extremely emotional, overwhelming moments. People who cry with happiness are able to moderate intense emotions more quickly.