“Oh SH#*!” – Studies Show Health Benefits of Cursing

“Oh SH#*!” – Studies Show Health Benefits of Cursing

Some people curse all the time, others swear throughout the day and some use foul language just a few times a year (while blushing at the same time). Either way, the urge to blurt out an expletive has grabbed us all at one time or another. Often, if you ask the potty mouth person how they feel after each nasty utter, many will cite relief.

Now science has stepped up with various studies that show several health benefits of yelling or muttering words your mother may be ashamed came from your tongue.

Curse Your Way Through Pain

Richard Stephens, lead researcher of a swearing study Keele University commented to the DailyBeast,

“As we looked into swearing further, it became apparent that it’s actually emotional language, and can make you feel better in certain situations,…If you’re waiting for an ambulance and have no [pain] drugs, cursing can actually reduce the feeling of pain.” (Business Insider 5/14/14)

Stephens and his team used various activities to collect cursing data and its effects. One activity was asking a test subject to hold their hands under ice water for as long as possible in two different tries. The first time they repeated a swear word of their choice and the second time a simple adjective. During the swear word activity it was tallied that subjects could keep their hands in the ice water 73% longer than when they used the adjective.

Lifting the Stereotype

Now that science is confirming the use of blue language it may not be attached to a low class stereotype anymore. Some psychologists suggest looking at foul words as a “horn on your car” releasing the frustration that in turn could lead to stress, that motherfu*%!er cause of so much disease. The more people realize that all walks of life throw down an ugly rant now and again the more they may step back without judgement.

How Your Brain Embraces Profanity

Some researchers have theorized that swearing can tap into the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for a fight or flight response to stress. Interestingly, using profanity has lit up deep, primitive, gut instinct areas of the right brain hemisphere while regular language derives from the left, more analytical hemisphere.

Therefore, polite diplomacy may be easier to deal with on a whole but allowing for a swearing release may uncork bottled up emotions that are underlying. Relieving oneself of such emotions is not yet a social norm but just imagine if you could tell your boss to “F” off and then have a productive conversation shortly thereafter. Some recommend finding a “neutral” place to unload your favorite expletives during times of high pressure and stress.

Not Always Negative

Massachusetts College Psychologist Timothy Jay comments on using profanity beyond negative, stressful situations,

“It allows us to vent or express anger, joy, surprise, happiness,”

Using taboo words when we are emotional brings a whole new level to a situation. It is as if you are announcing your feelings rather than holding them in.

For example, if you walk into surprise party and yell, “Holy Sh*T!”, this let’s everyone know you are really surprised and happy.

Move Over New York City, Ohio Is “Walking Here!”

The Daily News (5/16/13) reported on consumer to business analysis by a mobile marketing company showing that Ohio has some of the most foul mouthed citizens in the nation. Over 12 months, 600,000 phone calls were analyzed through voice recognition software. It was found that Ohioans spat out the “four letter word” about every 150th conversation.

Other potty mouth states include: Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois.

Those that lost their language manners only every 300th conversation and considered more polite states were: Washington, Massachusetts, Arizona, Texas and Virginia.

So don’t be so hard on yourself when you lose your cool. On the other hand, don’t be so quick to get affected when someone unloads at or in front of you. Stay healthy and start swearing.