Depending on the movie or TV show, bromances can be either the best or the worst part of the narrative. If performed right, a bromance grows along with the characters, evolving and even getting a personality of its own. If there’s no chemistry between the actors, however, a bromance is just something to remind you of the poor quality of whatever you’re watching.
Rats and PTSD
But it turns out that they’re also very nice in real life, as according to a study performed by researchers from Stanford, men live longer and healthier if part of a bromance. This works by reducing the amount of stress felt throughout the day.
Initially starting as a test to test the efficiency of nasal oxytocin sprays for PTSD patients, the study evolved to also show that being part of a bromance can both physically and emotionally improve your life. And everything is owed to oxytocin.
The initial idea for the study was to test oxytocin nasal sprays in order to encourage PTSD victims to socialize more as part of their recovery. The hormone can help via a process called fear extinction, during which traumatic memories are replaced with less traumatic ones.
Expectedly, although it may come as a surprise to some, the results of the study were based on the results seen in rats. Having two rats in a cage and occasionally exposing them to mid stress, they become encouraged to socialize with one another. This is a situation met daily in humans, as stressed out humans tend to socialize more, even if to just critique the stressful situation.
The wonders of oxytocin
And as any fictional bromantic couple can tell you, be it JD and Turk, Troy and Abed, Bill and Ted, and even everyone’s new favorite OTP, Finn and Poe, stress will only make you bond even harder. But you see, the benefits don’t stop there.
According to the study, not only do stressful situation lead to easier bonding because of the increased levels of oxytocin, but that bonding leads to less stress, or at least to handling it far better. This is why oxytocin is such an important hormone.
It starts being produced when feeling a connection with someone, regardless of the reason, and its production only increases with the bond. This means that the closer you are to your friends, the better you’ll be able to handle stress, but it also means the opposite.
If a bromance is over, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be at your worst for quite some time.
Image source: YouTube