His Girlfriend Hates Their "Bromance" Until She Makes A Surprising Discovery
Andrew Axelrod 5/3/2016
Having a good buddy is great when you need someone to watch the game with or help you move. But recent studies suggest having a "bromance" may have some unexpected benefits.
Studying The Rat Pack
A new study conducted by researchers from Berkely studied "bromantic" behavior in male rats. They observed when male rats were caged together they often would attack one another over food and water. However, when the rats would experience outside stress, they started to work together and were more social with one another. They soothed one another during stressful periods by huddling together, which led to a measurable rise in oxytocin in the brain, a hormone that makes you feel blissful. The study stated that just like the rats, the effect releases oxytocin in the human brain as well, which has a whole score of health benefits.
Don't Stress Out
Another hormone, cortisol, is known as the stress hormone and can cause an increase in belly fat and a weakened immune system. Oxtocin has been shown to decrease the amount of cortisol in the body and reduce its negative effects.
A Natural Aspirin
Oxytocin has also been shown to raise a person's threshold for pain. It also decreases pain in general and can speed up the rate at which wounds heal.
Sharing Is Caring
Another surprising effect of oxytocin on the brain is that it encourages a person to be more generous.
In this study, participants were infused with 40 IU oxytocin (OT) or placebo and engaged in a blinded, one-shot decision on how to split a sum of money with a stranger that could be rejected. Those on OT were 80% more generous than those given a placebo.
You can read this study on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.
How The Bromance Affects The Romance
All this bromance might be off-putting to wives and girlfriends, but having a BFF can actually improve the quality of a man's romantic relationships. One study concluded that oxytocin actually caused men to keep their distance when meeting attractive women, possibly to avoid showing romantic intent.
Better Bonding Time
That time with his buddy at the bar might make him a better dad. Researchers' findings suggested that men who were given a nasal spray of oxytocin played much more closely with their children.
The Bromance Is About More Than The Bros
While it might be great to have a buddy that you know always has your back, the benefits of having a best friend don't end at the relationship. It can actually make a man a better, healthier person.