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

248 Answers
Last Updated: 11/22/2020 at 2:04am
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
Anonymous
September 15th, 2017 2:20pm
Deep steady breaths. Keep calm. If it doesn't help, call for medical help. Might be a panic attack.
DaveMcGrath
November 8th, 2017 3:40am
Struggling to breathe under any situation can inspire panic that can lead to even more increased levels of difficulties breathing. Take slow calm breathes until you have returned to your normal breathing patterns. Focus on a single point on the wall as you do this and strive to remain calm as possible. Your physical posture should not be hunched over, you need to stand and pull your shoulders back to ensure your diaphragm is not restricted.
elyse024
November 9th, 2017 7:20am
I feel like you should go seek help from a doctor. You might have breathing problems which can become serious if you don't look after it
PenelopeDoo
November 9th, 2017 2:11pm
Try grounding techniques. Name 4 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can hear and 1 thing you can smell.
Anonymous
November 22nd, 2017 6:02pm
Try to calm down, and focus on taking deep breaths. Let someone know if you aren't able to breathe.
Anonymous
November 24th, 2017 5:09pm
Close your eyes, and lie down if you can. Try to imagine a place where you would feel safe, such as a calm place in nature. If you can't think of a place, think of a person that makes you feel comfortable. Aim to breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7, and breathe out for 8, but don't worry if you can't do it perfectly. Breathing will become easier the longer you keep trying, so don't stop, or give in. It may take a while before you can calm down enough to breathe properly, but you will start to feel normal again. It will all be okay.
Anonymous
November 25th, 2017 5:45am
This sounds like some sort of panic attack. Being mindful and trying to help yourself is the best thing you can do. If it becomes serious, reach out for help.
Anonymous
November 25th, 2017 6:08am
If you are crying and are struggling to breathe, stop crying. Calm down, tell yourself it's okay. Breathe in and out, slowly. Don't wear yourself out.
JasonTheVolunteer
November 26th, 2017 11:28am
Focus on taking yourself out of the thoughts that are causing you to cry and focus solely on your breath. Take in slow breaths while counting to three, and then exhale slowly while counting to three. Sit down, especially if you are feeling faint. Consider lying down, all the while focusing on slow deep breaths.
Anonymous
November 30th, 2017 8:59pm
For me, forcefully focusing on my chest moving up on down works. Press it with your hand to mimic the motion and focus on your heartbeat.
LetMeHelpYouBecomeBetter
November 30th, 2017 11:30pm
If you end up crying and you can't breathe. Try, very slowly, to take deep breaths. It has happened to me before, just try it. Deep breath, let it out, deep breath, let it out. Repeat.
Anonymous
December 3rd, 2017 3:08pm
You should take is slowly. Try to calm down, don't panic. Stay on the bed and try to get small breaths until you feel better. Try to focus on something that makes you feel good, or open the window to get some fresh air. Also, some calming pills can help a lot. Hope i helped you! Take care!
bubbleshoes
December 4th, 2017 12:01am
This sounds like it could be a panic attack. Some people find breathing to be a useful tool to use in the moment, when this is happening. Try this: take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds, if you can. Blow it out as slow and strong as you can, like you're blowing up a balloon. Count to ten slowly as you do this.
patriciaxmarq
December 7th, 2017 10:46pm
try to calm yourself by meditating, drink water, lay down , focus on your breathing or go outside for fresh air
Anonymous
December 9th, 2017 6:39pm
Take a slow deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds then exhale - repeat this a few times. Do not hold your breath too long so that you pass out, only hold it for a couple of seconds then let it out. This allows your heart to slow down to its usual rate which calms you down.
HelpfulListener25
December 13th, 2017 1:11pm
Take some deep breaths and try to relax. Try to relax until you can fully address what has made you so upset. This way, you can address the situation properly and with a clear head.
gingersminger
December 22nd, 2017 9:34am
You take deep, slow breaths. In through the mouth and out through the nose. Then focus on your senses. This helps calm you down and makes you think about something else. Close your eyes and think about what you're hearing. Then, plug your ears and focus on what you see. Then on what you touch, and so on.
JustASammy19
December 24th, 2017 11:21pm
If you are finding yourself struggling to breathe it is most important to calm down. This is however often the problem to begin with. What helps me to calm down is to find five things you can see (a wall, a person, a cup), four things you can feel (your own leg, a table), three things you can hear (traffic, a clock), two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This makes you feel more in your body and like you have control over the situation. It also distracts you from how you couldn't breathe, which your body will often unconsciously start doing agian.
Anonymous
December 29th, 2017 12:21am
Try to focus on just getting air in and out, nothing else. Don't think about why you were crying or forcing yourself to stop. Breath in 8 counts then out 12. If this is too long just try your best. To ground yourself, gain more control, find 5 things you see, 4 you feel (physically), 3 you hear, 2 you smell, and 1 you taste. This can act as a distraction task that can help calm your thoughts.
Joye74
December 31st, 2017 7:58pm
Take and count 10 deepest breath possible, touch five wooden objects, count backward, drink water, and call emergency contact.
Anonymous
January 3rd, 2018 7:00pm
Try your hardest to find things in the room which relate to your senses. Find one thing you can touch, two things you can smell, three that you can taste, four that you can hear, and five that you can see. This will help your thoughts expand and focus less on what is making you cry. Breathing in count also helps, breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and breathe out for five seconds.
Anonymous
January 10th, 2018 7:15pm
From my personal experience, it helps to start counting and visualize the numbers you count. You can do this until you reach number 40 and continue downwards until 0. So the path is 0-40-0. Hope you'll be fine from now over and all my best thoughts to you.
Anonymous
January 12th, 2018 11:28pm
I have experienced this. Grounding can be helpful — finding one thing you can see, one thing you can hear, one thing you can feel, one thing you can taste (tears work if you’re crying!), and one thing you can smell. Focusing on your breath and trying to steadily make your breaths deeper can help bring you out of the episode. I know this can be frightening. Hope that is helpful. ❤️
KimtheNaturalist
January 18th, 2018 5:07pm
This is called a panic/anxiety attack. 7 Cups does have a guide to Anxiety Attacks, but in short, you can learn to draw your attention somewhere else. Try turning on the TV and watching a funny movie. Start playing a guitar. Something that involves refocusing yourself always helps.
Anonymous
January 19th, 2018 1:09am
If you end up crying and find yourself struggling to breathe you should find ways to calm yourself down by watching tv, go for a walk, listening to music and have a close friend near you or family member.
Anonymous
January 20th, 2018 4:42pm
Take very deep breathes. When you take one your stomach should go out. Hold the breathe for ten seconds then let it out. Do this repeatedly. Also works for panic attacks.
alexa42
January 25th, 2018 10:27pm
A brown paper bag sounds cliche, but there's a reason. It helps to focus on just your breathing. It will also calm you because since you'll be breathing in mostly your own discarded carbon dioxide, there will be less oxygen, and it will help to slow you down.
Anonymous
February 1st, 2018 11:27am
I should stop crying for a while and ask myself that what is the actual reason for I m crying and will it be useful or will it give me the solution? If not then why would we do so.
Anonymous
February 11th, 2018 6:56am
Go get some fresh air and cry it out. Letting go of all those emotions is best and you'll feel better to move on.
Bearhugs222
February 15th, 2018 11:52pm
Try finding a quiet spot. Once you are comfortable with your location start concentrating on your breathing. Count as you breath in, count as you breath out. Try to work on clearing your mind while you breath. You can confide in someone if that is an option. If you can remove yourself from the area that is upsetting you.