Why Do We Blush?

We have all felt that telltale warmth spread across our cheeks. It can happen when someone compliments us unexpectedly, when we are embarrassed about something, or if we’ve made some kind of silly blunder. Whatever the case, blushing is usually a response to feeling uncomfortable or uneasy in some way. The reason our cheeks redden in certain situations and not others is often unique to our own individual makeup and experiences.

Although blushing is usually triggered by an emotional response to a situation, it is actually an involuntary physical reaction. We blush when the blood vessels in our face open up and allow more blood to flow into them. The dilation and constriction of blood vessels is regulated by our sympathetic nervous system, which is not under our conscious control.

As much as you might want to, it’s impossible to make yourself blush and equally impossible to stop the process once it begins. Some people find the following strategies can help manage blushing.

Strategies that help with blushing...

  • Stay loose. Don’t worry about blushing. The more anxious you are, the redder you may become.

  • Practice. Imagine being in the situations that usually make you blush. See yourself remaining calm, cool and collected.

  • Cool it. When you feel a blush coming on, try drinking a glass of cold water to help cool down your body and regulate your coloring.

  • Breathe. When you start to feel the heat, relax and take some deep, slow breaths. Breathing evenly and relaxing can help calm the body.

  • Embrace it. Remember, there is something quite youthful looking about a rosy glow!

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