Blushing is caused by increased blood flow through your cheeks. It’s not really understood why we have evolved to blush. Some think it could be to reinforce social codes – by physically showing that we recognise our mishaps and feel shame for them, we may be more easily forgiven by others. It’s like a non-verbal apology that makes people feel less hostile towards us.
There are some people that experience blushing outside of these ‘normal’ embarrassing situations. At its most extreme it can lead to people avoiding social situations or going out in public altogether. Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle as the more you avoid something the harder it becomes, and the more you think about blushing, the more likely it is to happen.
Blushing can be caused by any number of things including social phobia, anxiety, or even a fear of blushing itself. There are a few techniques you can try to overcome blushing problems.
Even if you don’t really feel relaxed you can trick your body into responding positively to relaxation cues.
You can release the tension in your body by dropping your shoulders, relaxing your muscles, breathing deeply and pushing your stomach out slightly. With practice this can become an effective control method for anxiety responses such as blushing.
Don’t Try & Hide It
It can be hard but the best thing to do to combat blushing is to stop trying to hide it. The tenser you become trying to hide something that you can’t control, the worse it gets. Accept it as a current part of who you are, but then relax in the knowledge that it can be changed.
Don’t Assume The Worst
When we can’t see our face and we feel the familiar heat of the blush we tend to assume it must be bad. The unknown aspect makes us blush even more. We also assume that other people will be as fixated on it as we are and that they must think we are silly, weak or embarrassed. This is rarely the case.
Most people won’t think much of it. If it makes you feel more comfortable you could always break the tension by drawing attention to it yourself saying something like “oh I can tell I’m blushing, just ignore it, it happens all the time!”
Reframe Your Mind
Practise relaxation, positivity and goodwill towards yourself and others. In a relaxed state, run through the situations that commonly make you blush. Practise feeling calm and accepting yourself.
Practise controlling your anxiety as you feel yourself starting to blush. Picture how you might feel towards someone else if you saw them blushing and project those positive feelings onto yourself from outside.
These are all techniques that I can help you with. Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful way of changing behaviour and reframing the way we think about things.
If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you overcome blushing please do get in touch.