Why unpleasant odors at home like the kitchen waste can be a sign that you are stressed
The kitchen garbage stinks, the fridge is musty and the smell of sweaty sports gear is overwhelming…but relax.
The house might not need cleaning yet, maybe you’re just a little stressed.
A study found that when we are tense, our sense of smelling unpleasant smells is heightened.
But our sensitivity to pleasant or neutral smells is unchanged.
It’s believed that the release of the “stress hormone” cortisol in fight-or-flight mode enables us to better detect bad smells that could pose a threat.
It’s believed that the release of the “stress hormone” cortisol in fight-or-flight mode enables us to better detect bad smells that could pose a threat. [File image]
The researchers asked 40 men and women to complete a stressful public speaking activity and a math test, and then measured how well they could smell pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant smells.
The pleasant odor was citronellol, which smells of lemongrass and rose, while the neutral odor was 2-heptanol, which was described as “earthy, oily.” The unpleasant odor was 4-methylpentanoic acid, which smells like sweaty socks.
Sensitivity to unpleasant odors
Participants were also asked to visit the lab either a week before or a week later for a control session in which they performed the same odor recognition tests but without first participating in the stress-inducing tasks.
The researchers at Southwestern University in China said: “There was a significant effect of stress on olfactory sensitivity to the unpleasant smell. However, there was no significant effect of stress on sensitivity to pleasant or neutral odors.’
A study found that when we are tense, our sense of smelling unpleasant smells is heightened
The group added, “A state of hypervigilance following acute psychological stress may increase the sensitivity of the olfactory system to detect potentially threatening stimuli, which is influenced by stress-related cortisol reactivity.”
The results of the study were published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour.
dr Andrew Thomas, a psychologist and lecturer at Swansea University who was not involved in the research, said: “From an evolutionary perspective, these findings make sense.
“Cortisol is a stress hormone released when the body responds to threats as part of the flight or fight response.
“Fight or flight and freeze have numerous effects on the body that prepare it to deal with threats.
“Assuming that these researchers’ findings also apply to larger samples, this suggests that the stress response also increases our sensitivity to unpleasant odors.
“The smells that we find objectionable are usually those that indicate the presence of something harmful, like bacterial growth.”
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/why-nasty-smells-at-home-like-the-kitchen-bin-might-be-a-sign-youre-stressed-out/ Why unpleasant odors at home like the kitchen waste can be a sign that you are stressed