Crying during movies is more common than you may think
Studies tell us that watching movies and getting emotional is one of the biggest reasons as to why people cry. Many people cry out of happiness, sadness, or pure enjoyment when watching fictional stories and characters played out on the big-screen. But not all people are this way.
Some people are simply immersed into stories and films easier than others
People who love films and reading stories can associate with the characters better than others. Therefore, they are experiencing the emotions of the character as they progress through the story in a much more impactful way to those who aren’t so connected.
Research even reveals that you can form emotional bonds with fictional characters, even when they are unable to show any signs of emotion back towards you. This is known as a parasocial friendship. Experts say that the brain can’t tell the difference between real and fictional relationships.
Being highly empathetic will make you more likely to cry during movies
Researchers believe that people who are extremely empathetic create more oxytocin. This is a hormone that is linked with empathetic emotions and it is found to be produced more in people who show increasing amounts of empathy compared to those who don’t. If you’re very empathetic, you’re more likely to be invested in the story and how the characters are feeling.
People like experiencing the symptoms of sadness
Crying can decrease stress levels and act as catharsis. You’re able to pour out your emotions through crying and it helps you to feel cheerful afterward. When you see tragedies in movies, it can be a good opportunity for your body to release some things that you have been holding inside.
Stendhal syndrome is a condition people mostly experience in the cinema
Stendhal syndrome is a psychosomatic condition that is linked with people looking at lots of art within a single space. This is a temporary illness that can cause you to become confused, anxious, and nauseous, out of nowhere, while sitting in the cinema. It can also lead to a panic attack with symptoms including dizziness and a rapid heart rate. If you are in a state of awe at the visuals on screen, an actor’s performance, or amazing views of nature, stendhal syndrome could be the answer.
While crying could be a sign of a temporary illness, that you’re a highly empathetic person, or that you need to release emotions, it could also just mean you’re emotionally involved in a great story on the silver screen.