Yes, blushing is a symptom of your Fight or Flight response attempting to remove you from what it perceives is a dangerous situation. In my years of practise it has to be said that blushing is one of the rarer symptoms but still affects so many people.
Blushing itself is extremely distressing and this usually has a knock on effect on how the sufferer lives their life. They usually restrict doing things that may make them blush and this could include any host of events from going to school/work to attending meetings or going out with friends, so it can have a knock on effect of social anxiety. Blushing can become a vicious circle as it starts by happening in one situation. The sufferer then worries it will happen in another situation and this then causes them to start avoiding more and more situations – depression can then follow.
Do the experts know why?
It is still not entirely understood why we blush but many experts believe it was originally due to attract a partner. Like a peacock can spread its feathers we could show interest by going red. Even in this situation for how we have evolved it is a flawed system.
Avoidance – but we don’t want to avoid it, do we!
The reason for blushing is that when we trigger our survival instinct we tend to either have a coping mechanism or an avoidance mechanism. In this case it is used as an avoidance. If we don’t place ourselves in a situation we won’t blush. You can see that from a basic logic point of view this works really well but the reality is we are not in danger and it’s the trigger that is incorrect and not the response.
There is part of the psyche that has learnt an incorrect belief and hence the trigger is made. This is made in subconscious and our consciousness awareness then conflicts as what we want to do and feel isn’t the same. In this instance we want to be out with our friends (consciousness) but because we may blush we stay at home (subconscious). Our subconscious is a heavyweight fighter and generally wins when the two come together.
So we know why we blush – we have a trigger in our mind that states that something is dangerous and to keep us safe it uses this as a tool for avoidance. But what is actually happening……
When our survival is at stake or at least perceived to be by our subconscious we release adrenaline from the adrenal glands in the kidney. This adrenaline runs through the veins and a fact that will annoy every sufferer of blushing is that the veins don’t get red anywhere on your body except for you face.
The triggers – one of the closely linked triplets
We blush usually when the trigger is linked to guilt, shame or embarrassment in some way or another.
So, how can blushing be treated? Using BWRT we would ask the client to think of the worst time that they have gone ‘red’ and fire up that emotion. Once that emotion is fired up a preferred response would be including in the recursive looping to feel instead. The magic of BWRT is that it rewires the emotion before it has happened and allows you to choose a feeling you want instead – for example calmness. Once the neural pathway has been reconfigured the blushing will cease to be because the trigger now has a different response.
Second way is via regression using Hypnoanalysis. What we would aim to do here is regress the client back to the original trigger and allow that trigger to be seen from the adult perspective and then released. Once the trigger is no longer firing the end result of blushing can no longer happen.
More details about blushing can be found here
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