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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By Sara Novak, Planet Green


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thanks for the article.

Claudia Acosta
Claudia A2 years ago

Caracoles! thank you

mac c.
mac C2 years ago

Nice finish to this article to direct your anger/swear words to inanimate objects-- although some people cause pain as well. Interesting post, thanks.

Celine R.
Past Member 5 years ago

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

Melissa Franklin
Melissa Franklin5 years ago

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

Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins5 years ago

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.

Sjoran Fitzpatrick

Oh hell yes!

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby5 years ago


Mary B.
Mary F5 years ago

It sure does relieve the tension.