Put aside your mindfulness practice because, apparently, getting a whiff of someone else’s sweat can help reduce anxiety in social situations.
People with social anxiety may benefit from relaxing and mindfulness therapy combined with exposure with odours from other’s sweat, a new study suggests.
Lead researcher Elisa Vigna, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, explained that a person’s state of mind caused the production of chemo-signals in sweat which communicate an emotional state. This can, reportedly, produce corresponding responses in other people.
She went on to state that the studies suggest combining these chemo-signals with mindfulness therapy seem to produce better results in treating social anxiety than what can be achieved with mindfulness on its own.
The study was presented at the European congress of psychiatry in Paris and involved collecting sweat from volunteers and exposing patients treated for social anxiety to chemo-signals.
The samples were collected from people who were watching clips from films which elicited particular emotional states. 48 women, all of whom suffered from social anxiety, were divided into three groups of 16. The study found that the group exposed to the odour samples responded better to a therapy.
This study still requires further research to confirm the findings, but one thing’s for sure: we’re not sure we want to be part of the test groups for this one…