Science Says Cursing Is F*cking Good for You

Yes, you have full permission to drop the F-bomb loud and proud next time you slip on ice or have a date from hell.
Publish date:
January 26, 2015
science, wtf, cursing, swearing, YourTango, Good For You

When I curse I often think of the people around me. Was that too inappropriate? Vulgar? Did I offend anyone? Do I sound uneducated? Are there CHILDREN around?

But thanks to research, it looks like I can stop worrying about how it affects others and focus on all the awesome things it's actually doing for me.

Yes, you have full permission to drop the F-bomb loud and proud next time you slip on ice or have a date from hell. Can I get a eff yeah?

U.K. researchers from Keele University found that using your potty-mouth can actually alleviate physical and emotional pain. In one experiment, they had subjects dunk their hands in ice water. Half could repeat a curse word of choice, while the others had to deal with the pain without swearing. Just as researchers had guessed, the cursing group lasted longer because expletives helped distract them from the pain.

As for healing your emotional pain? The U.K. researchers believe swearing also makes you feel like a million bucks, calling it a "harmless emotional release". But don't go too batshit crazy with this coping mechanism — they think it's more effective when used sparingly.

And, the more creative your expletives are, the stronger you'll feel. (If you need inspiration, I highly recommend some of the gems from this scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.) A study last year that asked participants to play either an aggressive video game or a calmer golf game found that the more obscenities in someone's vocabulary, the better .... despite what your mom may have told you.

"Our study found that when we raised people's emotional arousal level they became more proficient at swearing such that they were able to produce a greater number of different swear words and expressions in a one-minute period," said study author, Amy Zile. "This provides experimental support for the theory that swearing is emotional language."

If all this pain relief wasn't enough, when said (or screamed) at the right times, cursing can also be a confidence-booster.

So, there you have it. While curse words are bleeped out of your favorite TV shows (unless you get the cool channels), they definitely don't have to be bleeped out from your life. When used creatively and sparingly, a "fuck" here and a "shit" there may just be the very thing that makes you feel like the MOFO you are.

Reprinted with permission from the Your Tango. Want more? Check out these related stories:7 Ways Love Transforms Your Brain

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