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  • Writer's pictureAnna Poss

5 Tips For When You Feel Like Crying at Work

Crying is a normal and healthy human reaction. It helps reduce your body’s stress response. A good cry can help you release your emotions so you are better able to tackle life’s challenges.

But what if you are at work when the need to cry hits?

Work can be one of the most stressful aspects of our lives. Our careers will inevitably include distressing interactions with colleagues or customers, unintentional mistakes, and moments of fear where we question if we are good enough to get the job done. This makes it likely that at some point, we will feel the need to cry while we are in the workplace.

If you are anything like me, once you get crying there is no stopping the waterworks. Loud sobs, splotchy face, and an empty box of tissues are pretty much guaranteed if I start to cry. This can make the prospect of crying in front of coworkers especially stressful.

Here are my five tips if you feel like crying at work:

Have a motivational playlist handy. Include upbeat songs that improve your self esteem and can distract you from the situation at hand. I add Dolly Parton or Missy Elliot, but chose what speaks to you! If you don’t have a way to listen to it at work, have it ready to go as you leave for the day.

Do a breathing or meditation exercise. This gives you something else to focus on besides what is stressing you. It also can be done discreetly so no one will notice your emotional state.

Literally step away from the situation. Excuse yourself to the restroom, run an errand or do a chore somewhere else, step outside, or head to the stairwell and go up and down a few times.

Look up pictures of cute animals. It may sound silly, but some studies have shown that our brains release dopamine when we look at pictures of cute animals.

Plan a healthy reward for yourself after a hard day. Text a friend to meet up later, plan the music you will listen to during your bubble bath later, or schedule a yoga class. Having something to look forward can help us get through some hard times.

And if you end up crying at work, don’t worry! You’re human and having a human experience. Show yourself compassion just as you would a friend in the same situation. Remember: you aren’t the first person who has cried at work and you won’t be the last.

Woman at work stressed
Feel like crying at work? Check out my 5 tips for getting through it.

Do you feel like crying at work all the time? Is career stress keeping you from being able to enjoy life? Email me at to set up an appointment. Together we can work on finding a way to feel better.

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