****** ****! Why swearing out loud helps us cope with pain
15 March 2019
Have you ever stubbed your toe and instinctively turned the air blue as a result?
Coarse language might be frowned upon in polite company, but there’s actually a scientific reason why we feel the need to let rip.
Professor Richard Stephens of Keele University spoke to Brainwaves:-
“By swearing,” explained Professor Stephens, ”you’re giving yourself an emotional jolt and you’re self-activating the fight or flight response.”
This reaction not only prompts changes in the body – such as increased adrenaline and faster breathing – but it also activates naturally occurring pain relief.
“[This is] called stress-induced analgesia,” said Professor Stephens. “That’s the mechanism by which we think swearing helps people cope with pain.”