Feeling emotional can be natural. From happiness to anger to sadness, emotions are your mind's way of responding to life's events, and on their own, they're actually a healthy outlet. Even anger has its place, and while many people show inappropriate anger, there are times when anger is necessary.
All emotions play a role in your wellbeing. But when you start to feel like you need to cry for what feels like no reason, it may be a sign that you're suffering from anxiety.
Am I Crying From Anxiety?
Most people see anxiety as just stress or fear. But anxiety is an emotional disturbance that can have an incredible effect on your ability to control your emotions.
If you want to find the connection between crying and anxiety, it is designed to analyze whether symptoms like crying are indeed caused by anxiety.
Why Anxiety Can Make You Cry
Anxiety is an overwhelming condition - more than people realize. There are millions of people living with anxiety disorders that are able to handle themselves every day. These people often feel like, while their anxiety is affecting their life, it's still under control.
What we know about anxiety though is that it can affect you even when you don't know it's affecting you. If you haven't yet, take my free 7 minute anxiety test. You'll see some of the many symptoms that fall under the heading of "Anxiety," and _many _**of them can occur even when you don't feel anxious.
This is the reason that you can feel very emotional even if you believe you are controlling your anxiety. Anxiety is powerful - so powerful that the stress of it is essentially providing your body with a non-stop barrage of attacks, and your body responds by worsening its emotions.
Anxiety Can Cause Mild to Severe Depression
Anxiety, while a separate disorder, can affect your social life, your work life, and your ability to find joy in activities. It also puts a great deal of stress on your mind and body.
That's why anxiety can commonly lead to feelings of depression. In fact, depression is often a comorbid diagnosis with anxiety, and in many cases, the anxiety comes first and contributes to the development of depression.
Anxiety may not cause permanent depression, but the stress on your brain and the feeling of constant fear and fatigue can often lead to temporary feelings of depression, and thus crying.
From Crying to Apathy
In a way, it's almost advantageous that you're able to cry. Crying is actually a natural stress reliever. When you cry, you're letting out emotions. Your body designed crying specifically to provide this level of stress relief.
What some people suffer from is worse. Some people's anxiety is so strong it leads to flat affect - or the inability to feel emotions. These people cry less, but they also are unable to experience any happiness or joy. They generally experience one constant feeling of negativity each and every day.
Crying During Anxiety Attacks
It's also not uncommon to feel like crying before, during, or after an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks are single moments of overwhelming fear. Many people feel impending doom, as though they are about to die. As a result, they respond by crying, because that's a natural response to a feeling of intense dread.
After an anxiety attack is over, others may find themselves stuck with these intense emotions, often about the helplessness they felt during the attack. Panic attacks are so intense, that when they're over a feeling of needing to cry is natural and expected. Not everyone cries after anxiety attacks, but the intensity makes it natural to feel like crying.
Why Do I Cry So Much?
It's one thing to feel the need to cry after a particularly hard day. But some people feel that they need to randomly cry, and others are shocked at how uncontrollable their tears are. It is as though a waterfall is coming from their eyes, sometimes at "surprising" times.
That instinct is often just emotion that is trying to find its way out. Anxiety is excitatory to the body - it activates your fight or flight system. Your desire to cry may be related to the way your body is reacting to that system. Fear is scary, and your "flight" mode may be triggering your body to produce large amounts of tears as a way to let out that stress.
But I Just Want to Cry!
It is important for us to point out that there is nothing wrong with crying. It is not a weakness nor a flaw. When we discuss how to "control" and "prevent" crying for those that have anxiety, we are not implying that you should hold it all back.
Indeed, to treat your need to cry, you need to…
Let Yourself Cry
Many people wonder how to stop themselves from feeling like they need to cry. But the reality is that you shouldn't - if you need to cry, you should cry.
This may go against your instinct, but one of the issues that leads to more intense anxiety is holding back your emotions. There are two reasons for this:
- Your emotions are your body's natural coping mechanism. While it's true that some emotions can be "irrationally caused," when the feeling is there it's because your body needs to do it to feel better. Crying will almost always help.
- Holding back emotions also takes energy. You have to focus your energy specifically on trying not to cry, which means that you are forced to dwell on the way you feel for longer, which only serves to increase stress and anxiety.
When you feel like you need to cry for no apparent reason, then the crying itself can be considered irrational. But that doesn't mean you don't still need to cry. If your body is telling you to cry, then allowing yourself to cry is better for your stress coping.
Preventing the Crying Feeling
Remember - you shouldn't stop yourself from crying. Cry as much as you need to, so that you can let out the feeling of needing to cry. Whether you need to randomly cry, or you are struggling with anxiety and another condition (such as loss, grief, PMS, pain, etc.), or you are so overwhelmed with anxiety the tears just flow out, you should still let yourself cry for as long as you need to.
In order to "stop" crying, you have to take action before the urge to cry occurs. The only way to prevent the crying feeling from anxiety and stress is with anxiety prevention. You need to control the extent of your anxiety and how you react to it emotionally. Then you'll be able to reduce the way your mind responds emotionally.
To do that, start by taking my 7 minute anxiety test I've used it to help thousands of people whose anxiety was getting too overwhelming. It's designed to give you:
- A snapshot of your anxiety symptoms.
- An idea of how anxiety affects you and why.
- A comparison of your anxiety to the anxiety of others.
It's a free test and takes just a short amount of time.
If you haven't yet taken it, click here to start the test.