Whiff of your partner’s shirt may lower stress: Study

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Do you feel physically and emotionally exhausted? Try taking the scent of your romantic partner’s shirt, as it can help reduce stress levels, a study suggests. The results showed that women feel calmer when they smell the aroma of their male partner.

“Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on the side of their partner’s bed when their partner is not around, but they may not realize why they are engaging in this behavior,” said lead author Marlise Hofer, a graduate student. from the University of British Columbia, in Canada.

“Our findings suggest that the scent of a partner alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress,” Hofer added.

On the contrary, being exposed to a stranger’s smell had the opposite effect and raised the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, possibly due to evolutionary factors.

“From an early age, humans fear strangers, especially strange men, so it’s possible that a strange masculine scent triggers the” fight or flight “response that leads to an elevated level of cortisol. without us being fully aware of it, “he said.

The study may have practical implications for helping people deal with stressful situations when they are away from their loved ones, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the team recruited 96 heterosexual couples. The men were given a clean shirt to wear for 24 hours, and told to refrain from using deodorant, which could affect their smell.

Next, the women were randomly assigned to smell a shirt that had not been worn or that had been worn by their partner or a stranger.

Women who smelled their partner’s shirt felt less stressed, those who smelled their partner’s shirt and also correctly identified the scent had lower levels of cortisol, while women who smelled the scent of a stranger showed higher levels of cortisol.