If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s crying. I think I’ve been crying ever since the doctor swatted my behind on the day I was born. Other than stopping long enough to get through college, I have probably the softest heart of any person in town and have cried gallons of tears.
My kids need a strong, stalwart mom, so I have been practicing and perfecting a few techniques that have helped me avoid attracting public attention as a completely pathetic blubbering female. I mean, I’m TheSurvivalMom! Today, I ‘m going to pass these techniques along to you, my readers.
Be a guy
When I’m with The Paranoid Dad at a movie and I tear up, he’s usually next to me laughing! At me, not the movie! Guys just aren’t wired to cry very often. It’s gotta be hard-wired in their genes, and yeah, sometimes I wish I were a guy. I’d use a lot less Kleenex, that’s for sure.
If you must cry, try raising your eyes toward the ceiling and blinking. Something about that action keeps the tears in check.
Take a drink
Take small sips of water. It’s hard to drink and cry simultaneously. Avoid alchohol since it will likely increase your emotions, as any country-western song proves.
Quickly re-focus your attention on something completely unrelated. Try looking around and naming every color or every person you see.
If you can, put some distance between yourself and the emotional situation. Just walking outside or into another room for a few minutes may help avoid an onrush of tears.
Tell yourself you’ll have a good cry later. It might be a strange thing to look forward to, but at that moment, it helps calm those emotions since you know there will be time later to release them. Who knows? By the time you can finally relax and cry, you won’t need to.
Count to 100
If emotional situations often trigger a tearful reaction, blame your amygdala. This tiny part of your brain sends out the signal to cry, flee, freeze or fight, but it can be retrained. The next time you’re on the verge of tears, begin counting, either silently or aloud. This activates the logical, thinking part of your brain and can actually re-train your amygdala over time.
Do the strange tongue thing
Try pressing your tongue up against the roof of your mouth. This works well for brain freeze when you suck down an icy margarita too fast, and it can help prevent tears as well. Don’t ask me why.
If all this fails and you’ve had a major crying fit, grab the biggest pair of sunglasses you have, pat some foundation on your face to cover up those red splotches and put a big smile on your face. Sometimes you just have to brazen your way through difficult situations. That’s what makes us SurvivalMoms.