Crying is a perfectly healthy human behavior, but there are certain instances when it’s better to stay dry-eyed. However, some people are more gifted than others at controlling their water works. Luckily, for those of us who are more emotionally inclined, there are certain tricks to help you hold back the tears at not-so-appropriate times.

Crying is a psychological response to emotion, which means that it's very difficult to control. One popular way to control emotional tears is to distract yourself with a bit of pain, such as a quick pinch. Ad Vingerhoets, a scientist at Tilburg University who studies emotional tears, told New York Magazine that sometimes the sensation of physical pain helps to distract from the emotional pain just long enough to stop you from crying.

We still aren't even sure why we cry. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Another easy tip to control emotional outbursts is to tense your muscles. According to Vingerhoets, crying is a response to feeling helpless and passive. Tensing your muscles may help you feel slightly more in control and could therefore stop you from crying. Deep breaths can also be helpful because they both distract you and stimulate your diaphragm to do something other than cry, Shortlist reported.

Having a cold drink could also hold the tears at bay. According to Dr. Sneh Khemka, Medical Director at Bupa International, "Tears are stimulated by the facial nerve. So if you can get to an ice-cold glass of water in time, the cold sensation of the drink will stimulate other branches of the facial nerve, rather than the one that's about to start the tears rolling," The Shortlist reported.

While these tips could stop you from crying, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent the tears; we aren’t really sure why we cry in the first place, although there are some good theories. For example, one popular theory posits that tears trigger social bonding and human connection.

“Crying signals to yourself and other people that there’s some important problem that is at least temporarily beyond your ability to cope,” Jonathan Rottenberg, an emotion researcher and professor of psychology at the University of South Florida told Time. “It very much is an outgrowth of where crying comes from originally.”

If all else fails and you still feel your eyes welling up, remember: Think Happy Thoughts!