Why DO We Cry On Airplanes, Anyway?



It seems that crying on airplanes is actually a thing, not just something you did once and felt embarrassed about. In fact, it's such a common occurrence that journalist Elijah Wolfson decided to take a closer look. What is it, exactly, about being in transit, a mile high, that tells our bodies, "Okay, you can cry now"?

While no one really knows — no studies have, as of yet, properly delved into the phenomenon — Wolfson has some compelling theories. He asks us to think about the last time we had a truly terrible day at work. You know the drill: Toothpaste on your blouse, late to a meeting with your boss, your life in total chaos. Now, if you cried because of that no-good day, did you do it while you were working? Probably not. Your body and mind kick into overdrive in stressful situations, helping you to push through and get it done.

But, later at home, in a quiet moment, the stress from your day might get to you. It's when your body is able to let its guard down that the emotions can come spilling out. And, on a flight, there often aren't tons of distractions. Sure, now we can use our laptops and get wifi and such, but we're still trapped on the plane. Perhaps our bodies understand that. And, maybe we take that time to let our guards down, confronting emotions we're often too busy to deal with.

For example, this writer once cried hard for over 20 minutes after reading the concluding chapter of Just Kids on a flight home from Nashville — but maybe that's totally normal? So, go ahead: Tell us your own stories of crying over wacky things on planes. (The Atlantic)
airplanoImage: Via The Atlantic.