10 reasons swearing is good for you


Category:  Mental Health and Wellness

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  4 years ago  •  12 comments


10 reasons swearing is good for you

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

10 reasons swearing is good for you

A colorful oath or spirited expletive can heal the body and soul. (We have the science to prove it.)


Let loose! It's good for your health. (Photo: Photo Africa/Shutterstock)

There's something about a good curse word that has a healing effect. Whether it's a   G-rated oath   or a full-scale f-bomb, profanity helps in some situations, and science backs that up. Researchers say there are plenty of ways that cursing is good for your physical and emotional health.

There are several types of expletives to choose from. In his book "The Stuff of Thought," Steven Pinker explores the different types of swearing, from the abusive — "You ass!" — to the cathartic — "Sh*t, that coffee is hot!" What type you choose may depend on whether you're stressed or in pain or just trying to make your friends laugh.

Studying our choice and use of curse words can teach us about language and our brains, according to Benjamin K. Bergen, a cognitive scientist and author of a new book called “What the F.” As the   New York Times reports :

When brain injuries or tumors render people speechless, they sometimes still swear, while Tourette’s syndrome can cause uncontrollable shouting of offensive slurs and obscenities. For comedy writers, that’s all catnip, but for Bergen, these phenomena reveal where language originates: When you pay attention to the affected brains, you learn that there’s a specific place where automatic, stubbed-toe expletives originate, distinct from the pathway, in the left hemisphere, that generates the rest of our talk.

So the next time you're ready to let loose, do so with confidence. Here are some of the potential benefits:

1. It eases pain.   In a   chilly research study   published in the journal NeuroReport, college students plunged their hands in cold water to see how long they could withstand the freezing temps. Those who uttered the expletive of their choice reported less pain and lasted about 40 seconds longer than those who were forced to chant a neutral word. After leading the study, researcher Richard Stephens of Keele University in England said, "I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear."

2. It makes your heart race.   Swearing can activate your   fight or flight response , firing up your aggressive tendencies — hopefully in a good way. Maybe that's why coaches and drill sergeants tend to fire up their charges with obscenity-laced "pep talks."


Cursing might motivate you to get more from your workout. (Photo: Liderina/Shutterstock)

3. It gives you more from your workout.   Studies   show that cursing can increase performance, strength and power linked with exercise. In one study, people who cursed while using stationary bikes had more power and strength than people who used "neutral" words.

4. It keeps you engaged.   Monika Bednarek, senior lecturer in linguistics at the University of Sydney, studied some of America's most popular TV shows, counting how many swear words were used in each one. With more than 100 curse words per episode, the very popular "The Wire" won the profanity sweepstakes. On the big screen, the five-time Oscar-nominated "The Wolf of Wall Street" had so many curse words that it worked out to about one curse word every 20 seconds. The conclusion? Curse words = popularity.

5. It helps you bond.   Maybe we're not all dropping f-bombs during our casual conversations, but Bednarek says that for the most part, profanity can help relationships. “In addition to the psychological function of swearing, we mustn’t forget its social functions. Swearing is important for creating close relationships, friendship or intimacy with others, and bonds can be formed around it.”

6. It makes you feel in control.   "By swearing we show, if only to ourselves, that we are not passive victims but empowered to react and fight back," writes   English psychiatrist Neel Burton . This can boost confidence and self-esteem.


Sometimes, a little profanity can crack up your friends. (Photo: digitalskillet/Shutterstock)

7. It can make people laugh.   We often use off-color humor to   crack up our friends . As long as nobody's offended in the process, profanity can have great entertainment value.

8. It can be cathartic.   Pound your thumb with a hammer? You know a couple (or more) well-placed expletives can have quite the soothing effect. But you can get relief from non-physical ailments too. Whether you got dumped or are late for carpool, experts say swearing helps deal with emotion as well as pain.

9. It lets you express yourself.   "It allows us to vent or express anger, joy, surprise, happiness," says Timothy Jay, a psychologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied profanity for 35 years. "It's like the horn on your car, you can do a lot of things with that, it's built into you."

10. It helps you fit in.   Peer pressure, anyone? Swearing can help you feel more comfortable socially. If everyone else is being a little profane, cursing shows that you are part of their group. It also demonstrates that you are at ease being yourself in front of them.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information since it was originally published in April 2015.


jrDiscussion - desc
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 years ago

My ex-wife's late elderly cousin was actually quite respected and loved, extremely active in an international children's charity, and I'd swear every 5th word he spoke was "f*ck" or "f*cking".  But he was very kind and very wise.  When he became quite old, I would take him out for breakfast;every Sunday. 

He gave me this brass artifact that houses a magnifying glass that swings out of the base. The three monkeys, BUT they see evil, hear evil and speak evil.


It Is ME
Masters Principal
2  It Is ME    4 years ago

1 reason swearing is good:

People will pay attention all of a sudden jrSmiley_97_smiley_image.gif . jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

charger 383
Professor Silent
3  charger 383    4 years ago

swearing is good and necessary, but there is to damn much done here

Professor Guide
3.1  Kathleen  replied to  charger 383 @3    4 years ago

Actually not enough...

I would really like to tell a few here what I really think of them. 😈

Release The Kraken
PhD Principal
5  Release The Kraken    4 years ago

I don't cuss. I prefer Golly, Oh Gosh, Shucks, dag nabbit, Fudge.....and oh snap!

It Is ME
Masters Principal
5.1  It Is ME  replied to  Release The Kraken @5    4 years ago

Golly Beave, even that's to "Mean Spirited".

Could ya tone it down some more ?

Release The Kraken
PhD Principal
5.1.1  Release The Kraken  replied to  It Is ME @5.1    4 years ago

Well son of a monkey, you are right Wally!

Paula Bartholomew
Professor Participates
6  Paula Bartholomew    4 years ago

I can still remember the first time I used a swear word (Shit).  I was in the sixth grade and missed a pop fly during recess.  The word just came out and I immediately closed my eyes and ducked down to avoid the lightening that I was sure would strike me.  Nothing happened and I became a potty mouth ever since, just not around my parents though.

Professor Guide
6.1  Kathleen  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @6    4 years ago

When I was little, I would sit under the kitchen table and say shit... shit.. shit.. till my mom could grab ahold of me.  That was when I got mad at my mother for something. My older sister would say... ‘Mom! Kathy is saying shit again under the table’.

Paula Bartholomew
Professor Participates
6.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kathleen @6.1    4 years ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif   Kids do say the darnest things.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
7  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 years ago

I just checked this article, and saw that the text describing a couple of the pictures started beside instead of under the pictures, so TOTALLY unconsciously, I whispered "SH*T" to myself, and corrected the postings.  And I feel GOOD about it.  LOL


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