Techniques to Control Crying

Why Are You Crying?

If you find yourself crying for seemingly no reason or at awkward times, there is obviously something going on beneath the surface and you need to identify its root cause. As humans, we have a tendency to stuff our feelings until we become full---those feelings need to be released. If you suddenly start crying at inappropriate times, some of those stuffed feelings could be trying to release themselves.

Getting in touch with yourself is key to identifying what is causing your overload of emotions. It might be easily identified, such as a loved one's passing; or something you are completely unaware of, such as a forgotten childhood trauma.

Identifying for certain what is causing your unwanted bouts of crying might not happen overnight---until then, there are some things you can do to gain control.

Take Control

Crying is a normal and natural reaction to emotion, whether it is anger, fear, sorrow or even happiness. But if your tears are out of control, making you feel helpless against them, and you just don't want to weep on the train to work any more, try these simple techniques.

Deep breathing: in through the nose, out through the mouth. Taking several deep breaths when you get the feeling tears may start to flow turns your focus on the breathing itself and away from the crying. It also slows your heart rate and relaxes you, hopefully putting your emotions back in check.

Mental imaging is also effective. It takes a bit of practice, but once mastered it goes a long way in helping you find a center of calm and distracting you from crying. Picture something peaceful, or something that makes you feel good. Concentrate on that image for several minutes. Tell yourself you are happy, calm and relaxed.

Pinch the skin between your thumb and index finger...hard. This is another diversion technique that has been known to work. Once again you are refocusing your attention---the slight pain of pinching your skin distracts you from crying and allows you to recenter yourself.

Seek Help

Remember that uncontrollable crying could be a sign of a serious problem. If you are not able to gain control over the situation, speak to your health-care professional to see if you might be suffering from clinical depression or another treatable condition. Children cry to express their feelings to those caring for them. A child might even use crying as a form of manipulation to get what he wants. But for adults, crying is no longer an acceptable way to express feelings---at least not all the time. When adults are faced with emotional difficulties, they may experience times when crying becomes an issue. Learning to control when and how often you cry can be very helpful.