Research Updates

I swear it helped my pain — why the F-word feels so good when it hurts

Lauren Finestone

Swearing feels good — not just psychologically, it also helps us tolerate pain.

Is there anyone amongst us who has unleashed a steady stream of expletives when we stub our toe or experience some other kind of pain?  Turns out, research has shown that repeating swear words can increase our tolerance for pain. Sounds great. But how? There are 2 theories about how this works. One theory is that when people swear, their body reacts by increasing activity in the autonomic nervous system. For instance, their heart rate and ...

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Published 16 August, 2023