Guru Kate: Tackle emotion; eliminate odors

Why do women cry more than men?

Presumably to make men as uncomfortable as possible. Just kidding – if that were true, this guru would repel every man on the planet.

I’m a first class crier. The ASPCA commercials with the sad puppies and kittens played to Sarah McLaughlin music, the part where a barracuda eats Nemo’s mom and when the Chilean miners were rescued. Tears shed for every event.

None of this is to say that men don’t cry at all. In fact, it is widely presented that women cry five times as often as men do. Research suggests that for events that women cry for, men express their physical reaction in words.

Studies on depression published in a Scandinavian scientific journal found that men are better at talking about physical pain, such as heart problems, which are a result of their depression. On the other hand, women are more comfortable talking about emotional problems. They then link their feelings to pain they have in their gut.

Tears can also work as a balancing act for your body. According to Chip Walter of Scientific American Mind, tears shed out of emotion (not from being poked in the eye or having dry eyes) contain hormones and chemicals that are known to increase sad feelings.

When your body gets rid of a small amount of these compounds in tears, it is one step closer to balancing its emotions. That could be why you feel such relief after a solid cry.

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I’m getting a little teary-eyed just writing about it; let’s move to the next question.


How do air deodorizers work?

What a sweet smelling topic, and a convenient one at that! Air deodorizers, such as Febreze and Oust, work so well because they actually trap the stink molecules in little starch rings, according to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Ok, so the starch rings aren’t actually called that. They’re more commonly known as beta-cyclodextrin. It is a naturally derived starch made from corn and is a miracle worker for your nose.

The bottles contain three ingredients, all important, to make sure no one knows about the Mexican food you had for lunch: Starch rings, water and fragrance. The water dissolves the odor in the air, and then the hydrated odor becomes trapped in the starch ring.

If the odor-ring compound enters your nose, you can’t smell it because the odor is rendered useless by the starch ring! Hah!

Then, as the water evaporates from the starch ring, it attracts even more odor molecules and the room gets less stinky over time. Soon, most of the odor is trapped in the starch-rings. These then attach to surfaces and fall on the floor.

If you spritz water where they’ve landed, the starch-ring dissolves and you can literally wipe away the odor molecules. Voila, stink destroyed.

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