One of the symptoms of social anxiety can be a fear of blushing. A fear of blushing develops when people feel self-conscious, this makes them blush and feel even more self-conscious leading to a vicious circle developing. Researchers from Dresden Technical University used a weekend course of 'task concentration training' to help people suffering from a fear of blushing. Through reading stories, role-playing and watching themselves on video the participants practiced turning their focus away from themselves and to the task in hand - either the words of a conversational partner or the reading of a story. The participants were also given advice on how to practice re-directing their attention over the next six weeks, first in non-threatening situations and then in more difficult ones. At the end of the weekend 37% of the participants showed clinically significant improvement in their fear of blushing and at a six-month follow-up this had risen to 56%.
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