Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC
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For years I had a serious problem with blushing which began in my teens at school and has plagued me well into my adult life. I would like to discuss the problem, my experience and how to stop blushing. So if you want to prevent or control blushing, or help someone who is affected with this issue, then you’re going to benefit from what I have for you on this page!
Blushing is a natural response to a feeling of shame or embarrassment. To stop blushing learn how to relax in stressful situations. This requires practice and the correct breathing techniques. As you get better at this, you will stop fearing these situations and blushing will no longer be a problem.
Blushing is natural so remember it is only a problem if it affects your ability to communicate or socialise normally. Does it affect your self esteem or confidence? If so, then that is a problem and you should do something about it. Sometimes being over self conscious or not relaxed can make this condition worse, but be happy that it can be controlled and you can be more confident and stop blushing.
What emotions cause blushing?
According to this article, one of the main causes of blushing is when someone receives unwanted social attention.
Mark Leary and Kaitlin Toner (2012) claim that another important reason for blushing is the feeling that they are being judged socially.
An interesting fact is that the bigger the group of people in which a sufferer finds him/ herself in, the more serious the blushing as shown in the study by Shearn et al. (1992).
Other emotions that appear to cause blushing include:
- Recognition (as in receiving a compliment for example)
My Experiences of Blushing – What Effects Did It Have on Me?
I can confirm that in my experience, (I suffered from social anxiety and blushing for many years in my teens and through my twenties and thirties), the above research about emotions is correct.
I felt very uncomfortable and quickly blushed in situations where I was given attention in groups such as in class. I just wanted to hide during those days and tried to stay as quiet as possible. I was scared of speaking up, especially in bigger groups. I can confirm what Shearn et al. said because my blushing was much less of a problem in very small groups and the thought of speaking to a larger group terrified me. I felt like I was under a hot spotlight and imagined what people were thinking and how they were judging me.
I remember feeling shame and acute embarrassment while blushing on many occasions. At a certain point I decided I had to stop my blushing as it was seriously affecting my social life and also impacted my academic success. I understand now that blushing and the social anxiety I felt held me back and made me quite isolated and shy. When others were out enjoying themselves I was hiding away with few friends.
I had to take action and I did. It was not easy and it was a slow process but all these years later I can see how I have progressed and enjoy my social life so much more now. So, if you are experiencing the pain I felt, and wish to stop blushing, the next section should help you enormously.
How Can I Stop Blushing?
Although there are certain surgical procedures that claim to help reduce blushing, I recommend trying to cure the causes rather than the symptoms.
If you are extremely uncomfortable and blush easily in social situations, the only practical way to overcome this is by confronting your fear and beating the problem through practice. The more you avoid challenging situations which cause you to blush, the worse your problem will get and the worse you will feel about yourself. This can impact your self esteem very negatively.
In order to get started on your quest to stop blushing and improve your life, you need to do a little bit of homework and this involves self reflection to understand your problem. Here we go then…
So what is it you fear? Talking to the opposite sex? Speaking in a group? Dealing with an aggressive person? Your boss?
When you next have to face one of these challenging situations that you fear and feel yourself begin to blush, try this relaxation technique and take control of your thoughts, your breathing, your muscles and feel calmer and more relaxed quickly.
If you blush too easily and too often then you need to re-balance so that you are more confident and comfortable in stressful situations.
So enough said, here are six techniques you can try to help stop your blushing:
1. Slow Down and Learn to Relax
Imagine the thermostat on your heating system. If it is set too high it will keep coming on all the time and the rooms in your house will heat up and become unbearable, you would be quite uncomfortable and sweating, unable to relax. This is just like your blushing reflex, it needs to be turned down to the correct level. You need to re-calibrate yourself.
Each time you are in a difficult situation, slow down, relax and calm yourself which will enable you to gradually adjust the setting and slowly each time you succeed you will move closer to becoming confident in social situations that were terrifying you before.
2. Control Your Breathing
As bodily reactions to stress happen automatically, it is also a fantastic idea to try self hypnosis which can make a huge difference in beating this problem. I can recommend to you a self hypnosis download which deals with exactly the problem you are facing. It will help you gain control and become comfortable and confident in all kinds of stressful social occasions.
Just imagine how much this would mean to you in your daily life. Without the fear of blushing to stop you life would return to normal again and finally you will be free of this huge psychological hangup. Click here to get the wonderful reduce blushing self hypnosis download and end it now!
3. Try Self Hypnosis to Control Your Feelings
As I have said elsewhere, self hypnosis is very effective because it is a natural process and easy to implement. It involves simple techniques to relax your conscious mind and is a kind of mindfulness meditation. I have used it and it helped me to overcome my blushing. I found it enjoyable and very very powerful!
I can’t recommend self hypnosis highly enough so do look into this. Here is my recommendation for an excellent self hypnosis audio to help you reduce your blushing. Get a copy now and try it out!
4. Use a Social Success Diary
When you have made this technique work for you, I suggest you note your successes down in a social success diary of your own, giving yourself a number out of ten for success. By doing this, you’ll be able to watch your progress as you overcome this problem, and feel more confident and relaxed in the social situations which used to scare you. You may face setbacks, but by keeping track of these and noting down your thoughts and feelings, you will learn to better manage these interactions in the future.
When I did this years ago I felt it quite helpful to draw graphs and see the improvements I was making each day/ week or month. You might try this too and see how this works for you.
5. Work on Improving Your Self Esteem
Self esteem is at the heart of your confidence and is the basis for how you think about yourself. Positive levels of self esteem can make a huge difference in your social life and communication with others. You need to work on build self esteem each day until you can genuinely start to like who you are.
So remove all the negative self destructive behaviours as you build up your self esteem and you will begin to find more happiness and more fulfilment in your life.
6. Learn to Accept Compliments
I know this is one issue I had. I couldn’t accept compliments and felt that being modest was the best approach. It is always the case. Sometimes you deserve recognition, especially from yourself! Learn to accept compliments and you will feel more at ease with who you are.
- Leary, M. R., Britt, T. W., Cutlip, W. D., & Templeton, J. L. (1992). Social blushing. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 446.
- Crozier, W. R., & de Jong, P. J. (Eds.). (2012). The psychological significance of the blush. Cambridge University Press.
- Shearn, D., Bergman, E., Hill, K., Abel, A., & Hinds, L. (1992). Blushing as a function of audience size. Psychophysiology, 29(4), 431-436.
Website Author and Your Guide
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.