"Take THAT, cortisol!" Feeling worn? Look at porn. Sexy pictures may help you de-stress, finds new research from Carnegie Mellon University...
Feeling worn? Look at porn. Sexy pictures may help you de-stress, finds new research from Carnegie Mellon University.
After men spent a few minutes looking at semi-erotic images (think the Victoria’s Secret catalog), their bodies’ freak-out responses were cut in half compared to guys who viewed nonsexual photos. That’s not all. Men who peeped the hot pics also performed almost 50 percent better on the math portion of a stress test, the study shows.
When you’re stressed, your body produces more of a hormone called cortisol, which excites your nervous system and disrupts your brain’s problem-solving capabilities, says study coauthor J. David Creswell, Ph.D. But Creswell’s research shows that stoking your brain’s reward pathways with erotic images appears to limit the stress-cortisol response.
Before you fire up XTube on your work PC to deal with your boss’s tough demands—and win yourself a one-way trip to Human Resources—here’s the kicker: The guys in the study scoped the sexy photos before undertaking the stressful task, so it’s not clear whether looking at hot images can mellow you out once you’re already stressed. However, a few minutes spent perusing erotica at the start of your day may help you stay calm and mentally capable at crunch time, the research suggests.
If morning smut sessions aren’t for you, try something safer—and scientifically proven. Here are 52 ways to chase stress away.
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