Do you Cry Easily for No Reason, for Everything or for Nothing at All?
If you experience periods in your life where you are easily brought to tears, seemingly for no reason, we can start by stating that this is hardly coincidental. Something has been triggered within you.
From time to time, it can be difficult to understand what has initiated your tears and believe that you are crying for no reason.
Perhaps the tears come predictably or unpredictably, and you do not understand why.
Or you are aware of the trigger but do not quite understand the intensity and duration of the reaction.
It seems that the tears are excessive or out of place, for example in conflict situations or situations where you are a focal point.
The least helpful (and most common) thing you can do when you are crying “for no reason” is to judge your reactions rather than attempting to understand them.
In this blog article, the professionals of Psykologvirke will attempt to help you stop doing the first thing and start doing the second.
If you are considering therapy, we can meet you for in-person sessions in our offices located in downtown Oslo or via a secure video solution across Norway, regardless of where you live.
Through therapy with us you can get help for your tears. But you can also find some help by reading further.
Psychological understanding of crying and tears
In my experience, I have never found that there is not a good reason behind seemingly irrational or excessive emotional reactions.
And no, you are not the exception that disproves the rule, even if your “inner critics” attempt to convince you otherwise.
In some cases, this can have to do with factors such as fatigue, stress and sleep deprivation. Some people may also experience increased crying as a side-effect of birth control pills.
On the other hand, when there is an enduring pattern or the reaction arises in specific situations, it often involves automated ways of handling various, often unconscious, emotions.
In light of your specific experiences the reactions often have meaning on a deeper level.
These are often smaller things you react to in the present that stir up old, unprocessed emotions from the past.
And these are often partially or completely unconscious.
You can read more about we view the development of emotional difficulties and what helps.
1. Crying “for no reason"? Look into your history
The first thing you can begin to do when you cry a lot for no reason is to look in your “archive” - what unfinished business from earlier in your life can the present situation be activating?
What does this remind me of? From where in my history can I recognize this specific, physical sensation? In what other contexts have I experienced something similar?
If you cannot get very far on your own it may be because the triggers, or the earlier episodes, are repressed and existing under your radar.
Sometimes it can help to talk to friends and family who know you. Sometimes things can be easier to understand when viewed from an external and objective viewpoint.
We all have our blind spots.
Unconsciously repressed emotions
If you are starting to see which past experiences are being reactivated, this presents a possibility to work through these feelings. Once they are processed they will no longer be reactivated to the same degree in the present.
If your dog dies you cry tears for that loss alone, not also old, unshed tears from when your grandparents passed that you repressed in order to be strong for your mother.
If you are considering psychological help we are available via video therapy across Norway or from our offices, located in downtown Oslo. We have years of experience in helping people to calm their tears.
The next things we will address in this article that may prove helpful are the different types of crying that exists.
If this article isn't quite enough, we wish to point out that both research and our own experiences, as well as feedback from our clients, show that video therapy is effective beyond all expectations - and just as good as in-person sessions for most.
If you do not have health insurance either privately or via your employer and cannot afford a private psychologists you can easily orientate yourself concerning various psychological offers in this guide to psychologists in Oslo..
2. Find out which type of tears you are crying “for no reason”
When you experience a lot of crying jags for no reason these tears are seldom helpful.
They are often troublesome and give a feeling of vulnerability, confusion and frustration. Often you can feel burdened.
In order to get to the bottom of what is driving your troubles it can be useful to understand a little bit about various types of crying.
In this context we can mention three main types: sad tears, anxious tears and defensive tears.
Crying about everything - sad crying?
The most common emotion we associate with crying is sadness. You have experienced a loss of some sort. Something is lost, something has passed. Sad crying is an organism’s method of dealing with the irreparable, the immutable.
Through these deep reactions of grief and sorrow, we manage to process and relate to the pain in a manner that allows for processing and integration. (You can read more about how we work with grief in therapy here).
In addition, these types of tears communicate a need for support and trigger an empathic response in others.
If, for example, you find yourself crying more than usual over a sad scene in a movie, it can be a sign that you haven't fully related to a loss you have suffered.
These repressed reactions express themselves through a relevant trigger. Often this occurs unconsciously.
Buddha said: Pain in life is inevitable but does not become outright suffering until you try to avoid it.
Sometimes one tries not to relate to sad events because it hurts too much.
The tears can build up within you but get mixed up with discomfort and anxiety to allow the grief more room and you end up, more or less, in a chronic situation, caught between the two points.
Not quite in the grief, not quite out of it.
Psychologists can help when you are trapped in a cycle of tears
This sort if avoidance of the inevitable pain of life can become a disorder. You get stuck and can't progress further. We work best with grief when we allow it complete access.
When the waves of sorrow can come and go the way the body wants, without you controlling them, this allows the body the best conditions under which to process grief - so you can understand the origin of your tears and stop going around and crying for “no reason”.
After such a crying session you will feel lighter, if a bit worn out and tired - a bit like after an exercise session. You can read more here about how we treat a broken heart here.
In those instances where grief is held back, the tears can present as a mix of sadness, anxiety and defensive tears
These types of tears do not trigger the same empathy and support in others but still also do not contribute to creating distance.
We have specialized expertise in working with such inner dynamics.
Later in this article we will give a detailed description of what is occurring internally.
Crying over everything - tears of anxiety?
Anxious tears often come when we experience internal pressures that we feel we have to repress within. These pressures can be a need, a hope or simply an emotional reaction to what is occurring.
Maybe you are frustrated with someone you love, and this frustration seems of threat to the bond you have with this person.
Often this can be an inner conflict between different emotions, both positive and negative, towards another person.
Or a cross-pressure between seemingly incompatible needs. Such inner conflict creates a state of tension that can make you anxious.
Tears of anxiety can be brought to your eyes with incredible swiftness. They are often accompanied by tension or discomfort in the abdominal area, diaphragm, chest and/or throat.
There can also be a spreading warmth upwards from the area of your chest and throat. Sometimes there can also be ringing in the head.
Try to closely observe the physiological reactions that precipitate your tears. This can help you figure out if these are tears of anxiety and can, in itself, have a de-escalation effect.
If you experience that tears are brought on if you have any attention directed towards you, this is also a sign that the tears are an expression of anxiety.
If the tears you shed “for no reason” seem to be tears of anxiety then it is relevant to work with what is triggering your anxiety
Crying about everything - defensive tears?
Defensive tears are closely connected with tears of anxiety. If the crying becomes chronic, and if you have ruled out tears of grief, one might well say they have become defensive.
That is to say that they are there and stay there to keep something else protected from you conscious mind. Acting as a type of lid or containment system.
Let's say that someone accuses you of something. It feels unfair, you become irritated, and you want to express this. Which in turn makes you anxious and tense.
An internal tension then arises between forces that want to be expressed and forces that are holding you back. It can be quite uncomfortable to be in such a tense state.
One “solution” to this pressure can be to dilute or “put out” the irritation with tears.
Instead of having the potential of becoming stronger and clearer from the underlying anger, the tears come and pull you down into heavy thoughts and into a (perceived) inferior position in your relations with others.
You might become quiet and careful, perhaps despairing and helpless or maybe you begin to doubt yourself and become ashamed or guilty. guilty.
Psychological defense - tears that disarm
All of these are defensive maneuvers that prevent you from coming from a position of power when you are exposed to unreason and unfairness.
All of this occurs automatically, often without you even noticing.
Tears work in the opposite ways of anger. If anger is a fire, tears are the sprinkler system.
If the anger wants you to stand up for yourself the tears will pull you down again.
Into an inferior and weaker position.
This dynamic is completely possible to change. First try on your own, with the help of the information presented here.
If your development stagnates or you wish to expediate the process, emotion-focused therapy could help.
You can learn more about these mechanisms and how we set up therapy for conflict avoidance here.
The more freely you allow your primary emotions to be expressed, the quicker they will pass, your body will feel better, and you can use your emotions as motivation, like a needle in a compass.
So you can move forward in the direction you need and want. You also will be more present and clearer in your interactions with others.
If you are crying for “nothing” - avoid brooding and support yourself
In your attempts to understand rather than judge your reactions it is also important to allow yourself to take breaks from this work
To pull yourself out of things and focus on something else. And then to return to an observant and constructive inner focus.
What you cannot relate to you also cannot solve.
Be careful of becoming trapped in continuous and repetitive brooding. If you aren't progressing, doing the same thing over and over again will not help. Change your strategy. Throw in something new.
Think about how you are attempting to understand and solve your challenges in other areas, for example in your work environment.
Can you assume as constructive of an attitude and apply it in the attempt to solve your own personal issues? Why do you allow yourself to give up so easily when it comes to yourself?
Maintain a humane attitude towards yourself throughout the process you are undergoing. How would you help your child, a friend or another loved one through this? What would you say and how would you say it?
Gently correct yourself if you noticed that you are being stricter with yourself than you would with others.
If you have decided to give therapy a try you can schedule an appointment with a psychologist here. here.
We have extensive experience with most issues and have, among other things, specialized expertise in an intensive form of depth therapy called ISTDP.
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We wish you the best of luck with the journey you are embarked upon in learning to understand more about yourself.
If you are uncertain how much therapy can help you, there is only one way to find out.
Withing the first session you will already know more. Keep in mind that we have helped many people who did not believe they could be helped.
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