You’ve just stubbed your toe or banged your knee. Go ahead and let out a stream of expletives. Studies suggest swearing can lessen the pain.
Photo by SFerdon (Shutterstock)
A study by Keele University researchers found that swearing helped volunteers endure pain nearly 50 per cent longer than those who didn’t curse. The 64 volunteers submerged their hands in freezing water, first repeating their chosen swear word, then just using a common word. Swearing helped them endure the pain for almost two minutes, compared to the one minute and 15 seconds when they used a normal word. Researchers also found that being allowed to swear not only increased pain tolerance but also decreased the volunteers’ perception of pain.
The downside, though, is for this pain management technique to be most effective, you’d need to limit your casual, everyday swearing — even though swearing has a lot of other benefits.