You must have heard about the term blushing. Well, it is a type of facial expression in which the person’s face turns red due to psychological reasons. It is common phenomena that usually involves emotional stress and is often associated with other feelings or emotions such as embarrassment, anger or romantic stimulation.
In fact, it has been found that people who suffer from social anxieties blush more than others. The person experiences extreme and constant anxiousness which is quite noticeable.
Blushing is also related with several other complex physical and emotional factors. These all tend to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. It activates the body’s fight-or- flight response.Blushing often acts as vasodilator to blood vessels which turn the face into beet red. Blushing may occur when the body becomes too hot due to muggy or humid weather. The body also becomes hot when you are exercising or suffering from fever.
It helps in cooling the body through heat dissipation from the surface of the skin. In the words of Richard Fried an American Dermatologist-
The researchers have found out that the body releases hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline) when you start blushing. It helps to improve the circulation and flow of blood to your face. Besides that, there are some food and medicines which causes blushing. For instance, when you are eating spicy burrito blood circulation increases. Medicines such as Ritalin and Adderall or niacin accelerate the heartbeat which results in blush. It can also be due to specific medical conditions like hyperthyroidism.
Some Common Symptoms Related to Blushing
Before you get acquainted with ‘How to Stop Blushing’ it is important to know the common symptoms which lead to this psychological emotional stress. Some of these are as follows-
- Acceleration in heartbeat, pounding heart or palpitations
- Excessive sweating
- Shaking or trembling of body from within and outside
- Choking sensations or lump in throat
- Feeling of shortness or breathlessness.
- Dizziness or restlessness
- Chest pain or feeling of discomfort
- Feeling of depersonalization
- Numbness or tingling sensations in face and body and
- Chills or hot blushes
Why Do People Blush: The Probable Reasons
Dr Fried further explains that blushing has become more common and has given birth to a new kind of phobia which is known as Erythrophobia – ‘a fear of blushing’. In fact, the situation has turned from bad to worse with people becoming the victims of unexplainable persistent blushing attacks. Therefore, blushers hide themselves from social functions and find it difficult to converse with other people. In fact, this also affects their professional life as they shy away from seminar and official conferences. Many people have experienced this problem.
Charles Darwin’s View on Blushing
Charles Darwin a renowned scientist conducted a sole study on the subject blushing which provided vital information on the topic. He was of the view that people blush when they believe that they are the sole object of attention. It happens specifically when they think that people are criticizing them. He further added that blushing is always accompanied with emotions such as shame, guilt, modesty and shyness.
However, he did not answer the question why the face becomes shy and have a feeling of guilt and shame when we blush. He also did not tell why some people blush constantly while other do not. But later it was found that some people are born with hypersensitive sympathetic nervous system that controls the glands and the organs associated with it.
Some Awkward Blushing Situations
Often there are some awkward situations when blushing cannot be controlled. Some of the common situations are as follows-
- When you are saying something and all attention is focused on you.
- When you get compliments unexpectedly.
- While performing an act in front of others.
- When meeting with higher authorities
- Having interaction with the opposite sex.
- Being criticized in front of others.
Stop Blushing Forever
Blushing is not an incurable disease which cannot be controlled or treated. You can certain stop blushing by following simple methods. Here are a few simple procedures which can be easily followed.
- Relax your Body and Snap it Out
As soon as you start blushing the best way is to quickly help fade the redness by relaxing the muscles. Ease out the tension and keep your posture upright. Do some breathing and constantly keep reminding yourself that this is not the first time when you have blushed. The best part to avoid blushing is to keep smiling which helps in eliminating the anxiousness from the face.
- Do not Fixate Blushing
Many people have the habit of fixating their blushing when it takes place which indeed makes the situation look even worse. In fact, it displays the facial anxiety more which becomes quite visible. Moreover, it has been proved in a research that the more conscious we become about blushing, the more we blush. Therefore, try not to fixate on blushing and certainly you would blush less than before.
- The Look Around Technique
In case you experience an anxious situation which leads to blushing you can opt for the Look around Technique which has proved to be quite effective. Most people start gazing at a fixed point or shun away their eye contact with others in such situations. Look normally and see how many people are gazing at you. Do not stand at one fixed point but try to change positions. Do normal actions or whatever is natural. When you perform this technique especially at social gatherings you will prevent blushing as the level of anxiety will decrease.
- Do Things which you Normally Don’t
If you are seriously pondering on getting rid of blushing problem, once and for all, then this procedure is more than effective. If you get an opportunity to do something which you haven’t done previously, then just do it. It would be better to do things that you are usually afraid of. For instance, if can sing a song at a social gathering to get rid of the anxiousness which causes blushing. Do think about how people would react or how they are going to judge you.
- Set up a new Challenge for Each Day
Yet another simple method to avoid blushing is to set up new challenge for each day. You can begin with an easy task initially, and then move ahead as the time progresses. Some of the common challenges or tasks are as follows-
- Hum a song while travelling
- Stretch naturally while other people are present
- Sing a song
- Narrate a story
- Start interacting with friends and with opposite sex
- Tell a joke to a group
These are only a few simple tasks which you can easily follow to win over your anxiety as well as blushing problem. The blushing problem is not something which will disappear overnight. Yes, of course it will take time but you need to practice these actions regularly and more importantly learn to remain natural and normal without any phobia.
- Try Rehearsing Thought Exercises
The rehearsing exercises will certainly help to calm and cool your mind as well as distract you from blushing. Your mind will become much more relaxed if you are seriously trying the thought exercises. A lot of these exercises are based on imagination. Some of the activities include-
- You need to imagine as if you are jumping in an ice cold lake and diving at the bottom of the lake feeling the cold water over your body. This will help you cool down and relax.
- Every human tends to make a mistake and you are not the lone person who is sailing on the boat. Try to remember funny incidents of the past. This will act as a stress reliever and make you chuckle.
- You need to compare your situation with the others in the world. You feel the embarrassment or hesitation when you need to speak in the public. But if you seriously ponder over it, you would realize that this is a calk walk when compared to the struggles in life for attaining a better survival.
- Calling Attention to Awkwardness
One of the other ways by which you can actually diminish the blushing problem is by calling attention to awkwardness. You probably blush because you are conscious about the people and situation. You need to diffuse the anxiety before people around can realize that you are blushing.
Surgery is often looked as the last resort to get rid of the excessive blushing problem. The doctors usually perform Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery to treat the problem. Other than that, the person can also opt for the Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) and medications to prevent blushing forever.
To sum up the thoughts, it can be said that blushing is a common problem which needs to be cured within time unless the situation becomes worse. How to stop blushing becomes a nightmare to live with. However, you can permanently solve the problem by going through the various methods and opt for one which is suitable for you. However, it also must be noted that you are not lone facing the problem. It is just that you need to enhance your confidence and relax your face without being too much anxious about your surroundings.