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Nine Things To Do When You Can’t Stop Crying

  1. Try putting a cold towel on your face or even dipping your face into a bowl of ice water. This immediately calms the Central Nervous System and it is one of the components of DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
  2. Get in to talk to someone. If your emotions are more intense than usual, sometimes it means your system has gone into overdrive and it may need help or medication to regulate back to it’s normal state. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist, nurse-practitioner or a therapist. From there, you can brainstorm and make a plan on how to get things leveled out. Sometimes you need help with this.
  3. Call the Crisis Line at either Community North 317-621-5700 or St. Vincent Stress Center 1-800-872-2210. If you are feeling suicidal, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255
  4. If you are having a panic attack where your heart rate is up and won’t go back down, go to the nearest ER. If you decide it’s just a panic attack and not bad enough to go to the ER, then try just watching it and reporting what you are seeing. Be the witness to the panic rather than reacting and engaging with it. Actually say it out loud in your head, “Heart rate speeding up.” “Feel pressure in my chest.” “Feel like I can’t think straight.” Saying it aloud helps keep you present rather than panicking about the panic. BE THE WITNESS.
  5. Call a friend and just vent to them. Sometimes you might need another perspective. Always remember that our minds are like freight trains. Freight trains pick up heavy cargo and they go very fast with it. They don’t stop to question anything; they just race ahead.
  6. Remember that our thoughts are often not true. They are liars! Some people call that part of the mind the Hijacker or the Emotion Mind. You can tune in instead to the Wise Mind. The Wise Mind is that neutral but very rich part of you that is fair, empathic, reasonable and calm. Can you find Wise Mind? Even if only in a small part of you? What is it saying?
  7. Do you have a favorite show or activity that helps you when you are upset? I like to work on some kind of art like I will change the colors of the website or I will rearrange my bedroom and try to make it more aesthetic. Sometimes I will find a favorite Netflix show and go on a binge. What can you do to get your mind off of the issue upsetting you?
  8. Relabel the emotions. “This is JUST GRIEF. It’s not a threat.” “This is just SHAME. That’s all it is. It’s not a deal breaker and it’s not harmful. I don’t have to solve it and I don’t have to get rid of it. It will pass.” Then give it some time. Don’t do anything impulsive in the midst of this. Just wait it out and let the storm pass.
  9. Deep mindful breathing. Try breathing deeply and make your stomach go up high. BREATHE.

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Free Clear Mind Therapy provides in-person therapy in Fishers & Indianapolis and online therapy across Indiana. Specializing in anxiety therapy for teens, adults, and kids.

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