Understanding is the first step towards coping. It is important to accept that blushing involves not only bodily response but a particular pattern of thoughts which increases concern about blushing.

1. Becoming less concerned with your own behavior and others’ reactions will decrease concern with blushing.

2. There are effective strategies for coping with blushing. These include practicing relaxation techniques, building self esteem, resolving underlying causes, developing positive and self accepting ‘self talk’.

3. Learn to relax, it will help you to be calmer. Like any skill learning to relax takes practice and dedication.

4. Calming images can be used as a place to retreat to in your mind. Use the same image each time you practice relaxation.

5. Recognise the part played by negative and sometimes automatic ways of thinking in making yourself feel bad about the prospect of blushing. Keep a record of your thoughts associated with blushing to identify and characterise your pattern of thinking.

6. How realistic are your thoughts? Look for more helpful and realistic alternatives. Remember that it is not other people who are telling you you look silly or incompetent – it’s you! It is your own thoughts that create unpleasant feelings; work on changing them.

7. Avoid over-generalising from one situation to another.

8. Avoid thinking in all or nothing or absolutist terms. Start afresh and test out each situation as it happens.

9. Distraction techniques can be used to cope with blushing. Instead of concentrating on your own thoughts and/or imagined thoughts of others concentrate on other mental images or objects, or carefully monitor the appearance of people around you.

10. Be positive about yourself and others’ reactions. Recognize your strengths and that blushing in only one aspect of you that other people might notice. Avoid putting thoughts into other people’s heads and do not feel that you are responsible for any comments they might make.

11. Take control of your life. Set short and long term goals and work towards changing your life at your own pace. Monitor your change and congratulate yourself on making positive changes and improvements.