Most of the time when people think of de-stressing activities, the thoughts of massage parlors, spas, a day at the beach, a cold beer, or just some down time to watch T.V comes to mind. However, there is another “activity” that researchers at the University of British Columbia have recently revealed that may surprise you.
According to these university researchers, the scent of your romantic partner has the ability to lower your stress levels. Likewise, they also concluded that the scent of a stranger will typically elicit the opposite response, and cause an increase in stress. This study consisted of 96 women who were assigned to randomly smell one of three scents.
The three scents included that of their romantic partner, a neutral scent, and that of a complete stranger and were presented on separate shirts. They then participated in the Trier Social Stress Test. Women who had smelled their partner’s shirt exhibited lower stress levels before and after the test.
The women who had smelled the scents of strangers had shown an increased level of cortisol levels. Researchers speculate that this may be one of the subconscious reasons why people like to wear their partner’s t-shirts or sweatshirts to sleep.
The study’s lead author, who is also a graduate student in the University of British Columbia’s department of psychology stated that: “Our findings suggest that a partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress.”.