When the Crying Won’t Stop, Try Breathing

I recently met a woman I’ll call Anna who lost her spouse in a terrible accident ten years ago. Although time has passed, for her, it is as if it happened yesterday. Whenever she remembers, as she does every day, she can’t help but weep.

Anna wanted to tell me her story, and as she started to speak, she was so overwhelmed by her pain that she could only sob. I knew that reliving the moment over and over keeps the wound open, and this is harmful physically, emotionally and spiritually. Therefore, I showed Anna a simple technique for lessening the pain. It is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

EFT is a rapid way to eradicate negative emotions. You can perform EFT, any time and anywhere when you feel out of control. When you are feeling upset, and especially if you are crying, the body tightens, and you may experience a knot in your stomach, neck or shoulders. This results in restricted breathing.

Begin by taking a deep breath to rate how distressed you are from 1 to 10. The deepest, most satisfying breath you are capable of is rated 10. Anything below an 8 indicates that you need this quick grief reduction treatment.

1. Take a deep breath. Rate the depth and pleasure of your breath from 1 to 10.

2. If your rating is 8 or less, rub or tap along the outer edge of your hand below the little finger and say this 3 times: Even though my breath is constricted, I am releasing grief and tension now.

3. Using your index and middle finger, gently tap or touch the following power points for only 3 seconds while you say or think, I’m releasing this sadness.

  • The inner edge of the eyebrow near the nose,
  • The outside edge of the eye socket,
  • Under the lower lid of the eye,
  • Under the nose,
  • Under the lower lip,
  • Under the collarbone,
  • On the side of the body about 4 inches under the armpit.

4. Take a deep breath and rate how satisfying it feels again.

Keep doing steps 2 and 3 until you are breathing deeply and pleasurably. You will notice that as your breathing deepens you will also feel calmer.

Since Anna could not stop crying at first, I asked her to start tapping the energy points as she told me what had happened. As she talked and tapped each point she gradually stopped crying and was able to talk clearly. By the end of her tale, she was calm although still very sad. Overall, she felt great relief.

Do this exercise one or more times a day to calm yourself any time you feel as if your despair is too much to bear.

Gloria Arenson

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Bio for Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP Gloria Arenson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology. She is passionate about helping people help themselves be free of negative emotions and compulsive behaviors such as overeating, spending, internet addiction and procrastination using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). Her unique visualization method called The Phoenix Effect Process repairs difficult relationships effortlessly. Gloria is the author of Desserts Is Stressed Spelled Backwards, How to Stop Playing the Weighting Game, Born to Spend, Five Simple Steps to Emotional Healing, Freedom At Your Fingertips, and EFT For Procrastination. She is past president of ACEP, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and is in private practice in Southern California. Reach her at gloA@cox.net. Listen to Gloria on Open to Hope Radio

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