12 Secret Tricks To Immediately Stop Yourself From Crying

Save your tears for another day.

Last updated on Apr 05, 2023

woman trying not to cry Zinkevych / Getty Images via Canva

Crying is normal. In fact, it's even good for you. But it's not always the right time to let the tears flow, and at those moments it's helpful to know how to stop yourself from crying.

If you're someone who cries a lot, it's probably because you're sensitive and in touch with your emotions. That's an obvious strength, not a weakness.

But there is a time and place for everything, and sometimes we have to pull ourselves together so we can get to that time and place before falling apart.


RELATED: I Have High-Functioning Depression & Crying Helps Me Get Through The Day

How To Stop Yourself From Crying

1. Remove yourself from the situation.

If you’re in a heated argument or intense conversation, take some space for yourself. Sometimes the best thing to do when you feel like you are about to cry is to stop facing the situation. It’s difficult to articulate yourself when you’re crying, so take a breather.


2. Tilt your head backward so the tears don’t roll down your face.

If it sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. Just because something is ridiculous, however, doesn't mean it won't help you hold back the tears. Any emotional response is difficult to control, but tilting your head back is a great way to stop the flow of tears.

Tears make your face puffy when they run down your face. Tilting your head back prevents this.

3. Tense up your muscles.

According to science, clenching your muscles makes you feel more confident and in control of your body. In fact, it can help you self-regulate, allowing you to stop yourself from crying. So clench your muscles real tight when you feel emotional.

4. Blink quickly.

Rapidly blinking is one of the best ways to stop yourself from bursting into tears. This trick prevents tears from rolling down your face and is a way for your eyes to quickly absorb the tears instead of letting them fall.


RELATED: Confessions Of A Constant Crier (I Burst Into Tears Over Everything)

5. Pinch the skin on the bridge of your nose.

Pinching the bridge of your nose when you anticipate crying can stop crying entirely. Your tear ducts are located at the inner corner of your eyes near your nose, so pinching the bridge could essentially stop the flow before it even starts.

Grab your nose between your thumb and pointer finger; it doesn’t create any physical pain.

6. Take deep breaths.

When you try to hold back from crying, you might become short of breath or have a hard time breathing. Focusing on your breath and breathing slowly can help you gain control.


The more control you have over your emotions, the less choked up you'll get. The more at ease you are, the easier it will be to fight your tears.

7. Play with a stress ball.

If you feel you are about to cry, distraction is key. Playing with a stress ball is a perfect way to distract yourself from your emotions. It's the whole reason stress balls were created.

Taking out all of your rage on something else may seem counter-productive, but it's actually one of the best techniques to hold back tears. If you don't own a stress ball, you can fidget with anything else in your sight. Some examples include a ring, a hair clip, or even a string of beads.

8. Say a mantra.

Saying a mantra or positive affirmation can help you control your emotions. Try repeating a phrase like "I am in control" or something along those lines. The more you say it, the more your brain will start to believe it.


RELATED: 10 Best Arts & Crafts To Do When You're Stressed Out (And Need A Break)

9. Ground yourself.

Many grounding techniques can interrupt your thought patterns, causing your tears to dry up instantly. Some of these techniques include sucking on an ice cube or pinching the pressure point between your thumb and forefinger.

10. Make a neutral face.

Making a neutral face actually calms a person down and makes it less likely they will do something that will trigger tears. Research has found that neutral faces trigger less brain activity. Less activity means fewer emotions, including anger or sadness.

11. Remove the lump.

When someone becomes emotional, it affects the central nervous system. One way the nervous system reacts when we cry is the opening of the glottis (the muscle at the back of your throat). This action feels as if a lump is formed.


To get rid of the lump and the feeling you're about to cry, simply sip water, swallow, or yawn.

12. Exercise.

Exercise has been proven to release feel-good endorphins. Though this isn't quite realistic to do in the middle of an argument or emotional moment, it can work if you're home alone. It can also distract you from your feelings.

RELATED: What It Might Mean If You're Crying For No Reason

Izzy Casey’s work is published in or forthcoming from Corriere della Sera, The Iowa Review, Bennington Review, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, BOATT, NY Tyrant, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.