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In recent years, scientists have been looking into the possible benefits of sniffing someone else's body odour to help treat social anxiety. This novel approach is based on the idea that the sense of smell can be used to communicate social information and influence behaviour.
A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, shows that smelling a stranger’s body odour may help to reduce symptoms of social anxiety. The study involved 67 participants who were asked to smell either a stranger’s body odour or a neutral odour. Those who smelled the stranger’s body odour were found to have lower levels of anxiety than those who smelled the neutral odour.
The results of this study suggest that the sense of smell can play a powerful role in regulating emotions. Previous research has shown that smelling a familiar person’s body odour can help to reduce stress levels, but this is the first study to suggest that smelling a stranger’s body odour could be beneficial as well.
However, the researchers caution that more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms behind the effects of body odour on anxiety. They are also keen to explore whether different body odours have different effects on anxiety levels.
In the meantime, it appears that sniffing someone else’s body odour may be a promising avenue for treating social anxiety. As well as the potential therapeutic benefits, it could also be a more socially acceptable approach than relying on medications or talking therapies. If further research confirms the findings of this study, it could be a valuable tool in the fight against social anxiety.