Blushing is something that happens to the best of us – as hard as we may try to hide or avoid it, it’s a physical reaction that can be caused by various factors, such as embarrassment, alcohol consumption, high levels of stress, or severe weather conditions. First of all, we need to acknowledge the normality of blushing, since over half of the world’s population suffers from it.
This is what happens when you blush: Your blood vessels widen, your blood flow speeds up, and your adrenalin goes up high, which causes the dreaded redness in the face. The most common reason for blushing is embarrassment and for that, luckily, there are things you can do to control it. There are ways to deal with it, and to even make it stop, if they are applied successfully.
If you belong to the category of people who are ashamed of their blushing, then try not to be! Over-thinking it and consciously feeling bad about it makes it generally worse. Try to breathe. Blushing is more often associated with introverted people and there’s no easy way to turn these feelings off, but it can be practiced. Meditation can help, and anything else that can help to boost your own self-confidence. Try what works for you: A workout-routine, an acting class (big help!), or simply being around positive people in your circle. Eliminate negativity and unhelpful criticism, and replace it with a positive energy, daily morning mantras, and a new love for yourself. Your frequency of feeling embarrassed will go down, and therefore the blushing as well.
Another way that can help stop the blushing is averting eye contact. We’re taught its polite to look people in the eyes, and that’s certainly true to a certain extent, but if it means you’re more comfortable and can avoid the blushing, then it’s o.k. to avert your gaze. Staring into someone’s eyes is not necessary to show respect and be polite. You can look around while talking and only look into someone’s eyes briefly, to let them know you’re still present. If you’re lucky, the person opposite you will recognize the feeling and be understanding of it.
In some cases, medicine can help, even though I’m very cautious with recommending that. Some people had luck trying antihistamines and various forms of vitamin D, magnesium and calcium. It’s also been said that the wrong diet can trigger or worsen blushing. For instance, try to keep track of what you’re eating for a few weeks and see if you notice any visible changes in your blushing. Hot foods or drinks, such as anything with caffeine in it, heavy meat dishes, or spicy food can be harmful, while “cool” foods, such as green vegetables, cheese, yogurts, or fresh fruit can reduce the symptoms. If you’ve been struggling with blushing for a long time, this is definitely worth trying out, if nothing else has worked for you.
You are probably familiar with the oncoming blushing and then someone asking you: “Why are you blushing?” As if you’re the odd one out! Well, clearly they haven’t experienced it themselves, so for these direct confrontations, as I call them, it helps to have a short explanation ready, to reduce or stop the blushing from going any further. It will set your mind at ease. You can say things like “I’m getting hot in here”, or “I always get red, don’t worry about it”. It will quiet the person and make you face the blushing head on. Also, try to immediately change the subject by asking a question or making an unrelated observation. It will help get you back on track.
The best way to stop the blushing is acceptance. This will give you a peace you’ve never felt before! Accepting your “dilemma” if you look at it that way, will ease the pain. Studies have shown that people take a liking to blushers, and associate it with trustworthiness and sensitivity. So to blush is not always a disadvantage! Use it for your own good, and don’t be ashamed of it.
One method that some people swear by, to stop blushing, is practice. The more often you face it, the less your body will be prone to give in to it. It’s not fool-proof, but a good way to reduce blushing over time. My suggestion is to take a good 5-10 minutes every day and practice in front of a mirror. Try to tell yourself things that would make you blush in a real-life scenario, and practice your reaction to it. Blush as hard as you need to, and then see if you can stop it, gladly by using our given advice above. For some, it showed long-term results, and for others it was more of a way to simply accept their blushing, once and for all. Regardless which way you lean to, the practice will prove beneficial.
In some cases, putting on make-up in the morning can help, but going through acceptance, rather than hiding, is key, and advisable. No matter what works or doesn’t work for you, don’t avoid blush-worthy situations, only because you’re shy of your blushing. Try the opposite even: Challenge yourself, and try to put yourself in situations that make you blush often. It will become the new norm and you will feel freed from the pressure of covering it up. Think about the countless people who are suffering from the same problem as you. However, try to not describe it as a “problem”, and see it as what it is: A characteristic; a part of who you are and will be in the future. It’s an element of your personality, which is even liked and appreciated by others, despite your failure to acknowledge that. Embrace it and don’t be afraid to show this side to your friends, co-workers, and even strangers.
There’s no cure for blushing, but only you have the strength and ability to reduce or stop it, if you’re willing to put in the work it requires. With some help, you’re off to a good start to conquer it.