Fed up with blushing? Then you need to change your thoughts, advises The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy

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Blushing causes a lot of problems for the sufferer. It seems impossible to avoid no matter how much they try. However avoidance just reinforces the behaviour.

hypnotherapy surrey

Paul Howard hypnotherapist - anxiety specialist

The subconscious uses the blushing mechanism to remove us from a situation that it believes could cause us to be judged negatively or even be criticised.

If you want to stop the blushing then it’s time to get rid of your fears. Blushing is not simply about embarrassment. It’s more about the fear of criticism and judgement, according to advice offered today from Paul Howard, the anxiety specialist at the Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and an accredited member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

Paul Howard said "For most people blushing is a subconscious, physical reaction that our mind has learned to do in certain situations. Blushing is triggered by something external and is no different from any other learned response, such as screaming when we see a spider. In some ways, blushing is like a 'fight or flight' response where our bodies react to perceived threats."

He went on to explain that "The subconscious uses the blushing mechanism to remove us from a situation that it believes could cause us to be judged negatively or even be criticised. The judgement or criticism does not need to be voiced publicly, it just needs to be thought in the minds of others and because of this there is no way to validate if it is actually happening."

So, if the subconscious perceives that there is a threat of judgement or criticism, it will attempt to protect us from those types of situation. The irony is, of course, that by this action the subconscious actually embarrasses us and creates the very feeling it is working so hard to protect us against.

It is thought that, often the start of the blushing behaviour can be traced back to an initial sensitising event. For example, they may have been made to read in front of the class by a school teacher and perhaps they didn't do it very well and blushed, and maybe the other students laughed or ridiculed them. In this case, the blushing achieved a positive result, but this type of behaviour can become linked to any situation where it “might” happen as the subconscious often attempts to predict the future, so as to avoid danger.

Paul Howard believes that the way forward is by using hypnotherapy to get the subconscious to re-evaluate the original conditioning, to establish if it is appropriate to be using the same behaviour now, maybe 20 or 30 years later. That done, it leaves the way clear to help the person create new patterns that are more appropriate for the situation they are in.

Paul Howard has been practising hypnotherapy in Surrey for over 10 years. He specialises in anxiety and psoriasis.

NCH represents over 1800 hypnotherapy professionals within the UK and is committed to ensuring the highest possible professional standards amongst our members. Those looking for help with anxiety, panic attacks, habits and phobias may be relieved of symptoms through local based therapists. NCH works closely with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and is the largest not for profit organisation.

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