Could sniffing body odour help with social anxiety

Could sniffing body odour help with social anxiety

This is experimental and currently being used by Swedish researchers who believe this could have a calming effect. 

Close up view of a woman sweating
Close up view of a woman sweating/Pexels

We are all for trying new and innovative methods on helping people overcome anxiety. 

After all, it can be totally life consuming when social anxiety takes over your days. 

But how far would you got to treat your social anxiety? For instance, would you say yes to sniffing someone else's sweat?

Swedish researchers who have started tests with volunteers, are using armpit sweat in their experiments to help people treat their social anxiety. 

"Their hunch is the smell activates brain pathways linked to emotions, offering a calming effect - but it is far too soon to say if they are right." (BBC)

In essence what they are saying is that sniffing someone else's body odour, could have a calming effect on your emotional state of mind. 

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Smells form a key factor in how we experience things and help us to sense danger. 

"The Swedish researchers suggest that human body odour might communicate our emotional state - happy or anxious, for instance - and even elicit similar responses in others who smell it.

They asked volunteers to donate armpit sweat from when they were watching either a scary movie or a happy one." (BBC)

"Next, 48 women with social anxiety agreed to sniff some of these samples, alongside receiving a more conventional therapy called mindfulness, where people are encouraged to focus on the here and now rather than replaying negative thoughts." (BBC)

Interestingly enough, some of the women were given body odour whilst others were given clean air to sniff. Talk about the idea of mind games. 

The results showed that those that were exposed to body sweat odour appeared to do better with the therapy. 

Researchers are of the middle of testing why this was the case. They believe that it could be the sweat is an indicator that someone is close by which helped with the social anxiety. But this is yet to be confirmed. 

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