Why do we blush?

There are many reasons as to why we blush including fear, anger, shyness, embarrassment, as well as being nervous. Blushing doesn’t just happen because of these emotional triggers though, blushing can happen because of medications that we take, what we eat and drink and of course when we are feeling unwell and have a fever.

Blushing causes redness of the face, neck, upper thorax and in some people they experience reddening of the ears. The reason we get this rush of blood to these areas of our bodies is the result of adrenaline rushing through our system. Adrenaline is released when something triggers the sympathetic nervous system.

When we begin blushing because of embarrassment our sympathetic nervous system, the same system that triggers the fight or flight response, gets to work. This system is totally involuntary and so there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. This system carries out different processes that we have no control over whatsoever.

The power of adrenaline

When we become embarrassed, adrenaline is released and rushes through our bodies. Adrenaline is a hormone that acts as a natural stimulant and has many effects on our bodies. Adrenaline is part of the fight or flight response that can cause us to blush when we feel under threat or are embarrassed over something.

Adrenaline has the power to increase our heart rate and speeds up our breathing. It does this to prepare us for danger. Adrenaline will also cause your pupils to get bigger in size, which enables you to see more visual information which will help you fight the danger. Adrenaline also slows down our digestive systems. It does this so that energy can be sent back to the muscles of the body.

These are all the effects that are happening to your body when you become embarrassed about something and the fight or flight response has kicked in. It’s this response that causes you to blush. You may also feel sweaty and dizzy and can become very anxious.

When you’re embarrassed and adrenaline is speeding through your body, blood vessels start to dilate.  This is what’s known as vasodilation. This happens to improve blood flow and also oxygen delivery. This is exactly the reason as to why your face gets redder and redder. The veins in your face respond to a chemical transmitter, known as adenylyl cyclise and it’s this transmitter that tells the veins in your face to dilate. As a result of this, your veins in your face are filled with extra blood, more so than usual and this is exactly why you experience facial blushing. So, it’s the adrenaline that’s soaring through your body that causes the extra blood to flow through the blood vessels in your face.

Blushing and embarrassment go hand in hand

People become embarrassed for many different reasons including anger, rejection, criticism, low self confidence and low self esteem. They may also suffer from social anxiety, which prevents them from taking part in social events. Many people who blush also feel as though they are inferior to others and think that they are not worthy to be around them.

When someone blushes they feel a sudden sense of self consciousness and they become highly embarrassed, as if it’s their own fault. This definitely isn’t true, blushing is entirely involuntary and definitely isn’t anyone’s fault. People who blush also feel that they are judged negatively because of the fact that they blush. Again, this is not true. In fact, more people are attracted to and want to be around those who blush, more than anyone else. Blushing tells others that yes you’re human and you’re not going to hide from the fact that you blush.

Blushers also believe that when they blush it tells others that they’re weak, immature or dishonest. They feel ashamed that this happens to them and they then avoid certain situations where they know they will end up blushing.

How you can help yourself

Take time to chill out

Blushing is usually worse at the beginning because you feel yourself beginning to blush and then you get embarrassed because you’re blushing. This is a vicious circle, as the more worked up you get, the redder and hotter you get too. The thing to do, when you feel a blush coming on, is to drop your shoulders. Do this deliberately. Then, relax your entire body and push your stomach out. This will take a while to get used to doing but once you crack it, you’ll find it’s very beneficial when you feel yourself getting stressed.

Never hide from your emotions

Blushing is the way we show the world our emotions visually. This is absolutely fine and it’s only human to do so. Never feel embarrassed because you’re a blusher. You’re only human and you have emotions that you should never feel ashamed to show. People who show their emotions are liked by others because they feel a connection with them.

Accept your blushing

Blushing is perfectly natural and it’s a human trait, so why should you feel embarrassed about it? There really is nothing to be ashamed about. If you do feel ashamed when you blush try and relax yourself over it. Learn to accept that it’s natural and you cannot help it when it happens to you. Remember, blushing is involuntary, we cannot totally prevent it from happening but you can learn to chill out over it more.

Another thing you can do is to think about poor people living all over the world. Think about how they struggle every day, just to live and then think about your own life and the people you have in your life. These people are always there to help you, through the good times and the bad. We really do have a huge amount to be grateful for and when it comes to blushing, there really is nothing to worry about, when compared to some situations.

Thinking like this really will put things into perspective. Blushing may be annoying, but when it happens it doesn’t last for long and then you are free to get about your day. Sadly, the same cannot be said for others, living in different parts of the world.

There are many ways in which you can help to control your blushing. You may not be able to totally prevent it but by following these tips, you’ll definitely have much fewer flare ups and you’ll soon discover, your self confidence and self esteem will rocket because of it.