Sniffing men can reduce stress, says study
Let’s face it, you’ve done it.
Maybe you miss them, maybe you’re just starting to really like them, or maybe you’re just feeling a bit needy.
And before you know it, you’re face-deep in one of their t-shirts, wondering just why it smells so good.
There’s no judgement here – but there is a scientific reason why.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, we are so keen on the smell of our partner because it reduces our stress.
“Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when their partner is away, but may not realize why they engage in these behaviors,” the study’s lead author and a grad student in the UBC department of psychology, Marlise Hofer, says.
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In an analysis of the relationship between 100 couples, the men involved in the study were given a clean t-shirt to wear for 24-hours and instructed not to use any deodorant or other scented body products.
After the 24-hour period, the women were then asked to smell (yes, unfortunately it is a heterosexual study, but the same rules apply) a range of t-shirts.
Those who smelt the t-shirts that were worn by their partner found their stress levels to be significantly lower in the stress tests that followed.
Others were so in tune with their partner’s smell that they could pick it out. Cool, huh?
“Our findings suggest that a partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress,” said Hofer.
Sniff away, lovers.