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

259 Answers
Last Updated: 03/26/2021 at 7:39pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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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
April 16th, 2015 3:45am
I have been through this a lot. First find some calm thought or person to considerate on, and then either sit down or find a comfortable position. Then focus on your breathing and try to slow it down. Find a good rhythm, at your own pace, and only focus on your breathing. If that doesn't work try laying on the ground or doing something that calms you down.
May 2nd, 2018 12:48am
Breathe in and out slowly. Doing this can calm your nerves. When you cry, you have no control, doing this will help you gain control.
May 26th, 2018 3:12am
It's perfectly fine to cry and that is way better than bottling up emotions and also it's quite normal that crying makes it a bit more difficult to breathe. If you get a bit panicky and really start to struggle you might want to try some breathing techniques. Mine is breathing in through nose and out through mouth (if crying it might be easier through mouth only), breathe deep down into the abdomen rather than the chest and breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 1, out for 6 and hold for 2. You can work up to that slowly in steps and you should start to feel better soon once you get there.
July 6th, 2015 5:57pm
If you are crying and find yourself to have trouble breathing you should try to inhale slowly and deeply and then exhale slowly. It is very possible that you are having a panic or anxiety attack. When you start to have trouble breathing try to breath in for three seconds and breath out for three seconds to help slow down your breathing. This is obviously only if you are breathing too fast and it seems like breathing is taking a lot of effort. If this doesn't work you will probably want to get to a hospital since there may be a bigger problem such as asthma.
September 21st, 2015 5:37pm
Everyone is different. There is no one fits all answer. But you have to try to find what works for you and calms you down. Whatever that may be. If you don't know , then make yourself a list. The next time it happens you may know what to do.
September 15th, 2016 7:45pm
First and foremost, if it's an external issue causing it, remove yourself from that area. Next try to take slow, deep breaths. Concentrate in the task of just inhaling through your lungs, feeling your chest and belly expand with the air, hold that air for just a moment, remember that nothing else matters except for the here and now. Exhale and in your mind watch the air leaving your body. At this point, you can either continue with this, or reach out to someone (I hear they have a lot of great listeners on this one site called 7 Cups of Tea). It can be anyone that you are able to just talk to, a friend, family, online help chat site, crisis call center. If you can't calm and slow things down on your own, reach out for help asap, that's what they are there for.
September 18th, 2016 3:00pm
take deep breaths, and if you can then tell somebody about it that you trust. try to do something that calms you down, like talking to a friend, cuddling a stuffed animal, playing music etc. it always tends to help me :)
September 22nd, 2016 11:43pm
When I have found myself in a similar situation I try to refocus my attention on something, anything. Sometimes I find myself staring at the patter on the ceiling or the duvet, or count how many times I've blinked, or sing an almost forgotten song to myself, trying to force the lyrics back into my brain.
September 23rd, 2016 11:02pm
Take deep breaths for several minutes. If that does not work, find someone to support you through this trying time to ensure that your breathing issue is not related to health.
September 25th, 2016 1:06am
You should tell an adult. This could be a serious issue that needs to be looked at by a professional Doctor, or therapist.
September 25th, 2016 12:40pm
Take deep breaths, do it until you've calmed yourself. It's not easy I know, but you can do it! Hope this helps!
September 29th, 2016 8:31am
Take long, slow deep breaths; remind yourself that everything is okay. You can cry, it's alright to.
September 30th, 2016 9:35pm
Breathe in your nose for four and out of your mouth from eight. Just focus on your breathing. It's all going to be okay.
September 30th, 2016 11:57pm
No matter how hard or how long you cry, you want to make that you keep yourself hydrated and you are able to breathe. If you are unable to breath you want to calm yourself down. Stop thinking about whatever it is you are thinking about and just focus on breathing. Inhaling and exhaling. Close your eyes, go to a quiet room if you can just breathe.
October 1st, 2016 1:41am
You need to ask you need to isolate yourself from your thoughts. Sit stare at a wall or space and focus on that. If you're actually doing that you should find that you're breathing is slowing down and you crying will stop. You can even sing a song with the wall and don't think about it whatever it is
October 7th, 2016 2:48pm
Try your best to calm down, despite how difficult it might be. Try to relax. Once you are calm, try to remember what triggered this and work on how to stop it from happening in the future.
October 8th, 2016 5:02am
Try to find a spot away from people, maybe listen to some calming music breathe in for four hold for seven out eight counts. My art teacher suggested this, another good option is heading to the water fountain and taking some sips of cold water to try and clear your head. I hope this helps!
October 8th, 2016 7:18am
Well, first you should take a couple of really deep breaths and find somewhere quiet, so you can focus on your breathing. It may also be helpful if you called a friend or family member that you trust, and talked to them about what's going on.
October 9th, 2016 7:13am
Close your eyes and count to 10, and keep counting until you feel your muscles begin to loosen. Another trick that works is say nice things to yourself in the mirror.
October 12th, 2016 3:24pm
try a relaxing breathing technique. one i like is breath in 5 seconds, hold 4 seconds, and breath out 4 seconds.
October 13th, 2016 2:22am
Take deep breaths, focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count to one hundred slowly and focus on the counting. Then get a glass of water and sip it.
October 16th, 2016 9:13am
Go through the experience. Give in and have a good cry. Regain composure once it's out of your system.
October 19th, 2016 2:11pm
This sounds like a panic attack. The thing I do when I am feeling this is try to focus on birds. Birds are a symbol of freedom and peace for me, and it helps me calm down.
October 20th, 2016 8:14am
Well this happened to me a couple of times. What i did was that tried not to panic and went out in the fresh air. Sat on a chair and started taking short breaths inhale from nose and exhale from mouth. Then took a long breath and just relaxed all my body. Kind of slumped. Then cried and cried and in between inhale exhale. And all was well in about 10 minutes.😊
October 21st, 2016 11:11pm
That's more of a fear than an actual possibility. While it can cause that sensation, it's often anxiety doubled with sadness. Crying can help you feel better, and the only way you would feel like you're struggling to breathe is if that was what you were focusing on in the first place.
October 26th, 2016 11:28pm
Close your eyes, think of the sea and the waves gently breaking infront of you. The sun is beating down on your neck but the air has a slight chill so its a clean fresh breath of air when you take a breath in. Breath out and then take another deep breath of clean air in, keep doing this till you're finding it easier to breath.
October 28th, 2016 1:53am
Try slowing your breaths as much as possible. Close your eyes, and focus on your hands. Distract yourself enough to get your breaths back.
October 30th, 2016 8:41pm
Based on my own personal experience, this happened to me during a panic attack. I laid down in my bed with my door closed and let myself cry in silence until I stopped on my own. Crying is therapeutic, so letting myself release all my bottled up emotions was the best thing I could have done.
November 4th, 2016 5:14am
I should sit upright. Take a deep breathe; inhale slowly and exhale slowly. Try to calm myself down, think about something else to make me feel better and then find someone to talk to.
November 7th, 2016 5:38pm
Take feel breaths in and out. Focus completely on your breathing. Do this until you feel more calm and less agitated.