Crying is a natural response that all humans do, we should not be embarrassed about it or treat tears as a taboo, especially for all the males out there. However, it is your right to not show your tears, it is your call to choose when, where, and who is allowed to see you crying.
Personally speaking, I am that type of person whose tears are ready to be seen by the public eye anytime and anywhere. I am a very sensitive person who uses tears as a natural reaction to overwhelming emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, and even boredom.
It is annoying because I can’t control it. So, you bet I have taught myself many ways how to hide my tears and hold them when it is inappropriate or embarrassing to do so.
So if you are anything like me and you are tired of your watery eyes while you are in a meeting, family gathering or the supermarket (it happens), then here are 10 tips that will help you hold your tears and not cry.
We have heard this countless times throughout our lives, whether by friends, strangers, or of course, movies and songs. We heard it way many times that we forgot its value, so it is my turn to say it again: Breath!
When you feel like your eyes are about to rain cats and dogs over your face, take a moment and focus on your breathing. Long, deep breaths will help you distract your mind from thinking about the thing that is making you tear up.
Breathe deeply from your nose, count to 7 then exhale from your mouth. If you still can’t distract your mind, try to focus on something or someone else while breathing deeply.
Emotional experiences trigger our feelings which make crying a psychological response. In fact, crying can help washing chemicals that are linked to stress. So controlling them is a very hard task to do, especially when the situation is already very overwhelming.
Here is the solution: Pinch yourself surprisingly. The physical pain will distract you from focusing on your emotions. But please, don’t get crazy with the pain, a quick pinch is capable to do the job perfectly.
3Drink something cold
It is a weird tip, but hear me out, we will talk science here:
Your facial nerve is the one that triggers your tears. Therefore, you need to stimulate that nerve with a different sensation to distract it from making you cry.
So, if you feel like the tears are racing to your face, then try to go get a cold glass of water in order to remove the attention from the facial nerve and to stimulate the branches of other facial nerves.
4Tense Your Muscles
When people cry, their body goes to a state of surrendering so they feel helpless and passive. This is why you should do the opposite and try to tense your muscles in order to give yourself a feeling of being more in control.
The best way to tense your muscles is by using one of those stress balls, they truly work like a charm. If you don’t have one, then try to tense your muscles as much as you can and you will notice how your tears will slowly start to go back where they belong.
5Move Your Eyeballs
Again, a weird one, but it is the best tip that worked with me personally. Plus, it is easy and maybe a little unnoticeable. Just don’t stare at someone while doing it, because seriously, they will think you are hunted.
Anyway, when you are on the edge of crying, move your eyeballs around, right and left, up and down, and those unwanted tears will disappear. Plus, you may give yourself a little giggle since you will look creepy and weird.
By the way, don’t do it in front of kids. It is best to let go of the tears than traumatize a little baby.
6Get the Lump Out Of Your Throat
Some lucky people don’t experience this when they are about to cry, and unfortunately, I am not one of those people. Every time I feel like crying, there is a large lump in the middle of my throat that is making me incapable to breathe, speak, or even act normally.
There is three way to get rid of that lamp and stop it from developing: swallowing slowly, taking short sips of water, and yawning. They are very effective, but sometimes the lamp is way too strong than us.
In that case, find the closest bathroom or a corner where no one can see you, take deep breaths and drink as much water as you can to avoid any awkward encounter.
7Don’t Listen to Happy Music
This is one of the most important tips to keep in mind: avoid listening to any happy song. The happy tunes and the thrilling lyrics will evoke the tears more and more. Instead, you should listen to sad music because it can help you process your emotions better and let you calm them down.
Seriously, let’s think about it rationally: Do you think Beyoncé’s Ring On It will make you feel better? From my experience, it only made me sob my heart out and turn my eyes into big bowls of tears. In conclusion, Fast-paced music will not help you hold your tears.
Staying still will only make it worse. You need to get up, move around, and create an activity to avoid crying. If you are at home, then get up and try to clean your room or take a warm shower. But if you are at work, then go for a coffee break or at least to the bathroom.
Moving your body around will distract your mind from crying. Not only it is healthy to move, it is also beneficial to keep you distracted from the trigger.
9Pay Attention to your thoughts
What’s the reason behind your tears? Why do you cry when you see a puppy or a couple hugging in the street? Maybe there is some childhood connection to these emotions or it is reminding you of something you are not yet to have, but you truly want to.
Asking yourself these questions and answering them truthfully will help you spot what triggers your emotions and help you be more self-aware. That way, next time you go through a similar experience, you will already know the triggers.
10Let It Out
I know this is not a tip to make you hold your tears, but it is the healthiest choice, especially if you are overwhelmed and emotionally in pain. Sometimes, tears are the only solution to heal the scars or to experience an honest feeling.
I have learned this lesson the hard way: a few years ago, I was dealing with grief and heartbreak all at the same time, but due to work and family that are visiting me from out of town. I didn’t have time to cry it out.
Until one day, I felt a strong emotional rush inside my veins that I had to run to the bathroom, and there when I experienced a breakdown. It was too strong that I almost couldn’t get up from the floor.
The thing is when you hide your hurts and don’t express them. They will turn into a physical illness. So, don’t keep those negative feelings locked inside. Find a safe place where you feel comfortable to cry, or you can talk it out. Just remember that it is OKAY to cry, it is healthy and it is what you need.