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Swearing Reduces Pain?

Swearing Reduces Pain?

I’ve always felt that a good swear word makes me feel better. While I’m not one to cuss at people, appliances and bad hair days, well, I’m all for it. And it turns out I was right. According to a study reported by the Telegraph, swearing can actually relieve pain.

According to the story:

Scientists from Keele University found that letting forth a volley of foul language can have a powerful painkilling effect, especially for people who do not normally use expletives.To test the theory, student volunteers placed their hands in a bucket of ice cold water while swearing repeatedly.

They then repeated the exercise but, instead of swearing, used a harmless phrase instead.

Researchers found that the students were able to keep their hands submerged in the icy water for longer when repeating the swear word – establishing a link between swearing and an increase in pain tolerance.

Pain is reduced as a result of the adrenalin released while swearing, triggering the ”fight or flight” response. The study demonstrates that swearing elicits both a mental and physical response.

”Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon,” said researcher Dr. Richard Stephens.

So let ‘er rip, just direct your anger towards inanimate objects.

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7 Creative Ways to Relieve Pain Naturally

Read more: General Health, Health, ,

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


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4:15PM PDT on May 2, 2013

Does anyone remember seeing that episode of Mythbusters which tackled this same subject? It was kind of funny, imho.

4:48AM PDT on May 2, 2013

Interesting article... thanks. I try not to swear a lot, but if something bad happens or I get hurt, sometimes it just slips out of my mouth without really thinking about it

4:41AM PDT on May 2, 2013

I think that swearing is instinct for a lot of people when they get hurt. They don't even stop to think before shouting or grunting the d word or f word or s word.

11:15AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Oh hell yes!

12:07AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013


7:53AM PST on Dec 4, 2012

It sure does relieve the tension.

10:29PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Pardon me "Damn right" just stabbed myself last night with my killer sharp knife set in the kitchen trying to cut my 19 year old fur daughters pill in half and don't know how, but rammed it right into the tip of my forefinger and said the above, because a stabbing is not fun and saying whoops or oops just doesn't aid in alleviating the pain.

3:11AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Thanks for the article

10:47PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

There are no swear words in the Finnish language.

How do they cope?

7:03PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

Sometimes we all need to vent, one way or another.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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