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What should I do if I end up crying, and I find myself struggling to breathe?

283 Answers
Last Updated: 04/23/2022 at 11:21pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
March 15th, 2015 2:57pm
try to sit back, and be aware of where you are, be aware of what surrounds you, what colors you see, what shapes are there, describe them to yourself using as much details as possible ... you'll soon notice a difference in the paste of your breathe. try it out ... it may help you :)
February 1st, 2016 8:12am
If you're in a noisy or busy place, try to excuse yourself. A bathroom will do. If you're at home, just lie/sit down somewhere comfortable. You want to try to lessen feeling overwhelmed. Some people find closing their eyes helps, but I like to focus on something that's simple and plain. Focus on that thing and just breathe. It sounds ridiculous and stereotypical, but breathe. Not too deep, but not too quick either. Just breathe and focus on one of your senses. Don't aggressively push thoughts away or think of them as inherently "bad", just gently push them away, as if you're telling them "not now". Just focus on one small simple thing while breathing, and eventually it might start to feel manageable. Try to reach out if you can, text a friend or chat to someone on here. Things will be ok, you're ok.
April 30th, 2015 3:22pm
In situations like that it's good to stand up, put your hands behind your head (this expands your diaphragm, allowing more air to enter your lungs), and just take deep slow breaths.
April 24th, 2015 5:20pm
If you find yourself struggling to breathe, for any reason, emotional or otherwise, call your local emergency service (911). After doing this, when you are in a good place, consult with a therapist. It sounds like you are experiencing panic attacks - I can't know for sure, so consulting a professional is suggested.
March 14th, 2016 10:40am
calm down and don't panic thats the worst thing to do in the situation, make sure someone is aware and can help you. also take a shower and relive the pain.
November 12th, 2016 11:02pm
Take Deep slow breaths trying to concentrate on anything other then your problem. play some music cuddle up with a blanket and pillow or even get a hug
April 10th, 2015 8:12pm
You need to take a deep breathe and calm urself down no matter what it is and y u are crying u just need to breathe
October 22nd, 2016 7:44am
Close your eyes and think of blackness, take a deep breath with your stomach moving outward, hold it for 1--2--3--4--and then release it very very slowly over 1---2---3---4---5---6. Do this at least three times. Try to acknowledge what you were feeling and why you were feeling it, Listen to the hypnotic, meditative rainfall at Breathe deeply and slowly. Love yourself. Tell yourself something good about yourself or your day right away. Think of three funny things. Hug a pillow tightly. There may be preventative measures you can take if this is interfering with your day-to-day life like as-needed anxiety medication or long-term medication options for anxiety or depression.
February 15th, 2017 10:19pm
You should imagine yourself drowning under water and when you are trying to get some air, dash to the surface and breathe again. Now it's blissful to breathe. Right?
January 25th, 2017 10:03pm
I know how you feel with this one. When I cry too much for something it's really hard for me to breath and I just can't think straight. I'd recommend laying down on a cold surface whether that be basement flooring, deck outside or even bathroom tile and that should help your body kind of shock and help you breath. Or just fall asleep, I sometimes do that to help my body kind of calm down during the crying process.
July 29th, 2018 10:20am
in this case you need someone to be with you and it will be good to hug your relatives or friends, you shouldn't think of anything
December 29th, 2018 9:15pm
Take Deep slow breaths trying to concentrate on anything other then your problem something like maybe what you are looking forward to. Maybe play some music cuddle up with a blanket and pillow and a stuff animal if your that type of person. I also try to breathe in and out maybe have a warm shower have a class of water and cuddle with my puppies. If all that fails I try to talk with someone about what is going on or even just random things because sometimes when you are crying and struggling to breathe even just getting someone to make you laugh helps
September 3rd, 2017 2:06pm
Try to calm yourself down - breath normally. Maybe listening to calm music helps you or looking at the sky/stars.
April 8th, 2018 6:45pm
I know that can feel really scary when it happens. Try to take 10 deep breaths, truly focus on your breathing. Doing this should calm you down enough to where you could try a grounding exercise. You could count backwards from 50. My personal favorite is to look around the place I'm in and pick out 5 things I can see, 4 things I can touch, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can taste, and 1 thing I can smell. By the end of this exercise, you should feel much more calm.
October 12th, 2019 7:18pm
grounding techniques can really help. if you're struggling to breathe, focus on some things you can see, feel, and hear, and concentrate on those. listen to the air, or feel how your clothes feel against your body, or find small things you can see to focus on. once you feel a little more present, pay attention to your breath. if it's possible, try a breathing exercise (for example, breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds). good luck!
June 30th, 2015 12:53pm
Relax. Try to focus more on your breathing than your emotions. Try breathing deeply with your stomach.
June 30th, 2015 10:33pm
Try to take deep breaths and calm down. It may not be easy to do, but if you are able to calm down than you should be able to breathe normally after a few minutes.
March 30th, 2018 1:31pm
You should sit up straight , take a few breaths in and then go drink some water ! Drinking water really helps :) Drink some water , it will help you calm down , and then take a few breaths in and out again !
May 30th, 2018 6:38pm
The bestvway I find to calm myself is to take very slow deep breaths. Concentrate on the feel of the air flowing in through your nose, holding it in your lungs and then slowly letting it out feeling it flow over your tounge. Try at least ten deep breaths
September 15th, 2016 7:46am
Sit in a corner in a safe place, where you can be alone. Put your head between your knees. Focus on something on the ground, whether it's the carpet or something that hasn't been picked up. Memorize the details of it, keep your mind away from what is making you cry so hard. That should help your breathing steady out, and the crying to either stop or not be happening as much.
March 1st, 2018 12:03am
You may be experiencing a panic attack which is a period of time of high anxiety and distress. If this keeps on happening and you feel like you cannot cope i would suggest speaking to someone whom you can trust and open up to. You can even speak to a doctor or psychologist if you think that will help you.
March 1st, 2018 10:29am
When this happens I do something called grounding: I would look around the room and find 5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste. Grounding really helps when you feel like you don't have any control. This helps me control my breathing and steers my brain in the other direction. If I am somewhat still feeling the same way, I would do it again. Once I'm better, I treat myself to a glass of water :)
May 13th, 2015 6:58am
You should go and ask for help to any person who is close to you. Don't feel panic , that's the reason you're struggling.
November 9th, 2015 2:46am
Stay calm its normal to feel this way. Just sit down close your eyes and relax it will pass:):):):):)
January 4th, 2016 12:47pm
Whenever I get upset I try breathing in and out slowly, have a big glass of water, then have a warm shower.
January 5th, 2016 4:03am
focus on your breathing, in out big breaths and if you still are struggling call your guardian to help comfort(it worked for me)
May 31st, 2016 4:08am
take deep breaths and try to calm the cries if this doesn't work immediatly contact someone (a loved one, 911, or a trusted friend) for help
September 28th, 2016 9:45pm
If you are having a hard time breathing after crying, try and take long deep breaths. Inhale and exhale and repeat. Try and also drink some water.
December 1st, 2016 4:06am
I try to find a quiet place, that feels safe, and there I let myself cry for a bit. After, I try to do some deep breathing, or I find comforting pictures of kittens on my phone to distract myself until I calm down.
December 16th, 2016 5:27pm
Crying disturbs the respiratory system and sometimes causes distress to breathing. If this is infrequent, concentrating on deep breathing is the most helpful answer. However, if the happens often, you should check with a doctor to see if you have other issues, such as asthma or respiratory depression.