- Do you get embarrassed?
- Are you avoiding situations or contact with people?
- See it as a sign of weakness or loss of control?
Therapy To Help With Blushing
Blushing is an unconscious, physical reaction that can be caused by certain situations, and is a perfectly normal bodily reaction it can result in a feeling of being 'flushed' and/or experiencing reddening of the face, ears, neck and often the upper part of the chest. Some people believe blushing is naturally attractive as individuals are likely to show their true emotions! However, for many people blushing can cause discomfort and distress as they worry about when and where they may blush. The embarrassment of blushing can become so severe for those who are extremely anxious in social situations that the sufferer avoids social contact (known as social anxiety).
The unconscious, physical reaction to blushing is triggered by something external and is no different from any other learned response, such as screaming when we see a spider. In some ways, blushing is like a 'fight or flight' response where our bodies react to perceived threats. Often, problems with blushing can be traced back to a particular incident, for example, you may have been asked a difficult question by a schoolteacher which you could not answer. Perhaps you blushed, and the teacher moved on to someone else. In this case, the blushing achieved a positive result, but if it persists over time in similar situations, it becomes a nuisance this can lead to a vicious circle of being embarrassed about the blushing and anticipating it happening again.
Becoming tense in similar situations and worrying about blushing often makes it more likely that it will happen again. This is because our brain automates patterns of thinking, and for individuals who blush excessively, their brain has often automated worrying about blushing.
Try Not To Think of Blue Elephants
Trying not to worry about blushing also does not help the situation as our brains can’t not think about something we are trying not to think about. For example, if you tell yourself not to think of a blue elephant, we immediately picture a blue elephant in our mind! So, if we tell ourselves not to worry about blushing, we immediately think about blushing. Again, our brain automates this pattern of thinking.
A practical way to stop, and even to prevent blushing is to distract yourself when you feel yourself start to blush, or practice deep breathing to calm down. Analyse times when you have and have not blushed, and what you did differently on each occasion.
I use a range of therapies tailored to your individual needs that can help you “re-frame” your reactions and provide you with valuable tools to cope and respond how you would prefer to respond in situations that may have previously made your feel uncomfortable.