The question is: Why do we cry?
Crying is our very first reaction upon arriving in this world.
It’s our way to say: ‘Hey, I’m here and I’m alive!’ Later on, crying becomes something different.
The truth is that people cry every day. Children cry. Women cry. Men cry.
All human beings cry because we want the world to know we’re only human and we all have genuine feelings.
By crying, we express our deepest emotions of dissatisfaction, yearning, grief and sometimes even happiness.
Our body is letting us know that our soul is yearning for something or it has been hurt in one way or another.
If we want a more scientific answer, the best there has been given is by Dr. Ad Vingerhoets, the author of ‘Why Only Humans Weep’.
According to him, there are two major triggers for adult crying. “The first is helplessness and powerlessness,” he said. “The second, separation and loss.”
We have to agree with him because when we look deep into ourself, that just about sums up every reason behind every tear we shed.
Now that we have that covered, there is still one question in the back of our mind:
Why would you want to make yourself cry on purpose?
Well, there are a few reasons.
Maybe you have been through a lot and your tears dried up and you can’t think of the last time you had a good cry.
Provoking tears can be beneficial for your mental health. All those accumulated feelings will come pouring out of you, shaped like tears. You will feel relief afterward. Real tears will give your soul relief and make your burdens easier.
Crying can be a sort of therapy for you, self-cleansing that gives your eyes a brand new perspective and a clearer view of life.
Another reason might be that you are an actor who needs to cry on cue because of the particular scene demands.
Perhaps you are a model who needs tear stains on your cheek to have that one perfect photograph with the pure human emotion of sadness.
You might also have your own personal reasons for fake or real tears that don’t usually come to mind at all.
Whatever the reason might be, here are 11 tips on how to make yourself cry like there’s no tomorrow:
1. Recollect a sad event from your past
This is the most painful but the most effective one.
Just think of the saddest moment in your life and emotional tears will be pouring down your face.
For instance, if you’ve gone through a painful break-up, you’ve probably cried because of it and when something like that happens, that’s the only logical thing to do.
Your body has remembered all of those emotions you felt when you were crying and if you only think of that moment when the two of you parted or when you were alone crying, it will make you cry again.
Our body is capable of reliving everything.
If you find it difficult to contemplate your past, move on to some other method. Recalling the sad things that happened in the past like the loss of a loved one, a personal tragedy, break-ups, etc., can’t be good for your mental health.
2. Open your eyes wide and don’t even blink
This one will take longer to achieve but if you find some time for the ‘don’t blink challenge’, then you should give it a chance.
Normally, when we blink, our eyes lubricate themselves because in that way they are cleaning themselves.
So, when you keep your eyes open for as long as you humanly can, they will stop lubricating. Once you close them, you allow for your tear ducts to moisturize your dry eyeballs.
Naturally, once you start blinking again, your eyes will create an excessive amount of water—you’ll start crying.
It is important to mention that this experience can also be a little bit painful because in theory, drying your eyes sounds more comfy than it actually is in practice.
Nevertheless, you can always try and if you fail, move on to the next tip.
3. Trust the power of onions
We’ve all been there and done that. You start chopping an onion, convincing yourself that maybe this time it won’t cause a flood of tears like every single time before that.
But, no matter what we do or say to ourself, an onion will always trigger the waterworks.
This is because onions consist of an enzyme that releases when we start chopping. This produces some other chemical and when it comes into contact with our eyes, it makes us cry like little babies.
An onion is the perfect solution every time you need a fake cry and you’re at home or somewhere else where you can feel comfortable enough to pull out an onion and enjoy crying a river.
4. Use the menthol method
Ever wondered how to make yourself cry like you are acting? Actors cry on cue in all the movies, TV shows and theater performances but how do they do that?
They can’t always get into character and expect emotional tears to show their presence. There must be something else.
Well, one of their favorite tricks is a menthol tear stick and menthol tear producers.
All they have to do with a stick version is apply it right under your eyes. The tear producer, on the other hand, is a spray, which works instantly.
If you are feeling tired, yawning will do the trick. Tears will come immediately.
When we yawn, the facial muscles surrounding our eyes tighten. During that process, the lacrimal glands (the glands beneath our upper eyelids, just below our eyebrow bones) might feel a slight pressure, which will cause them to release tears that they had kept in storage for later.
So if you want your eyes to tear up a bit, just take a big yawn and the result will be immediate.
6. Use eye drops
All you need to create waterworks is a few dollars and a trip to your nearest pharmacy. Eye drops contain saline that instantly provokes tears.
They are easily applicable—all you need to do is pour a few drops into your eyes and that’s it.
A word of advice—hide the evidence, as you don’t want to be accused of fake crying.
7. Gently rub your eyes
The emphasis is on gently because you don’t want to hurt yourself. After you’ve finished a rubbing session of a few seconds, open your eyes and stare at one particular thing until the tears start.
Simply place your pointer finger on one of your pupils. It will undoubtedly irritate your eyes which will make you cry a little bit.
If you include deep breaths and sobbing sounds, your crying scene will be more convincible.
8. Listen to sad music or watch a sad movie
Music affects us in many ways. It can help us be creative while we’re writing something, it can relax us, it can help get rid of rage or it can make us cry. If you want to cry like a baby, classical music is the way to go.
All of those complex instruments will tell your body that it is time to release every toxic thought that has ever entered your body. And it will do it through tears. Music is like a cleansing tool for your soul.
If you’re not the music type, watching a sad movie should be a good substitute, although watching a movie is definitely more time-consuming than simply listening to a song. Whatever you choose to do, feel free to improvise and adjust it if needed.
9. Try repeating certain phrases
This one works on the principle of believing what we say. Invent some phrases that would usually make you sad or have pity for someone you know.
Concentrate and listen to yourself while you’re saying them. In order for it to work, you have to believe that it is true!
If you fail at this, try looking at yourself in the mirror and repeating all of it again. When you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, you have a better insight into your perspective and it feels like you’re actually talking to yourself.
Try repeating it at intervals so that you don’t force yourself too much because that would create a countereffect.
10. Imagine a dialogue
Imagine that you’re having a dialogue with someone who used to make you feel bad about yourself or with someone who simply knows how to make you feel sad.
You can write it down and read it a few times before acting. In no time, you’ll feel like that person is there with you and your tears will notice it too.
Again, you can use a mirror so that it looks more convincing to you.
11. Read something sad
You must have read something that made you feel sad for a particular person or thing. It could be a confession, sad love story, missing puppy or something else.
This one is practical because you can always Google it and you can find your own type of sad story which will provoke empathy and your eyes to tear up.
No matter how tough you think you are, there’s not a single person who cannot cry when reading something shocking or extremely painful.
We’re all empathic but only to a certain degree. Some people need more time and others don’t have a problem swiping whenever they read something heartbreaking.
A few more things to remember and pay attention to:
If you are an actor or a model, you probably already have a motto that reads ‘practice makes perfect’.
The same is true for this particular situation. Fake crying is something you can master with time and determination.
Your scene will look better if you manage to be at one with the character you are playing. So, stay in the moment, don’t force it and allow your emotions to do the rest.
If that doesn’t work, choose one of the ‘how to make yourself cry‘ solutions listed above.
On the other hand, if you want to cry because you want to stop feeling numb and you want to evoke your feelings, the first thing to do is to not hold it in.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Confront your sadness. Recall your memories. Once those tears start pouring, you will start feeling better.
You will feel like at least some of the burden is lifted off of your shoulders. You will gain a new perspective on your situation and your problems.
So, don’t hold your tears in, don’t run from your feelings; no matter how bad they can get, it’s always a better option to face them, cry them out and eventually solve them.
Once you manage to do that, you will feel liberated and ready for a fresh start again.