What to do when you’re stressed out?
There are many ways to cope stress. But recently, a new and astonishing finding was found. You might be surprised, but it is a scientific fact.
A research from the University of British Columbia published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that a scent of a romantic partner can lower stress level.
The researchers found that when exposed to their partners’ scent, women feel more relaxed. In contrast, when exposed to strangers’ scent, their level of stress hormone, cortisol, increases.
The conclusion was drawn from 96 opposite-sex couples participated in the study. In the study, male participants were instructed to wear a T-shirt for 24 hours without using body scented products including deodorant. Cigarettes and certain foods that could affect their scent were also restricted.
The researchers gave the T-shirts of the male participants to women. Then women smell the shirt given to them. They were not told which shirt is their husband’s.
Women also underwent a series of stress tests. It involved a mock job interview and mental math task. Then the researchers measured the amount of cortisol in their saliva.
The finding suggests that women who smelled their partner’s scent had a lower level of stress hormone compared to those who smelled the stranger’s shirt.
What to do when you’re stressed out? Smell your partner’s shirt.
But what makes it work? Why exposing to the stranger’s scent makes people stressed out?
The authors speculate that our early fear of strangers could have caused this hormonal reaction. Children are afraid of a stranger, especially male strangers. The researchers believe that the same fear might have directed the result of the study.
However, the study only focused on women. We don’t know if the same finding exists among men. Should men smell their partner’s shirt when stressed out? This question worth another scientific investigation.
Nevertheless, the finding has several implications. Couples may have a great advantage on this. This could be helpful to those who are separated by the nature of their work.
The working environment today may be more demanding than ever. Some people need to travel to other cities, or even to other parts of the world to do their job. Leaving or taking a worn shirt or cloth of your loved one can be a big help.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.