How Swearing Helps to Ease Emotional and Physical Pain During Stressful Situations

In the latest episode of AsapTHOUGHT, host Gregory Brown explains the concept of lalochezia, the emotional and physical relief that’s felt by swearing in stressful situations. This was proved in a controlled study during which test subjects submerged their hands in ice cold water; those who were allowed to swear tolerated the cold twice as long as those who were not.

This study investigated whether swearing affects cold-pressor pain tolerance (the ability to withstand immersing the hand in icy water), pain perception and heart rate. In a repeated measures design, pain outcomes were assessed in participants asked to repeat a swear word versus a neutral word. …Swearing increased pain tolerance, increased heart rate and decreased perceived pain compared with not swearing.

The study also proved that the analgesic effect of swearing is, while powerful, is only short-lived.

The observed pain-lessening (hypoalgesic) effect may occur because swearing induces a fight-or-flight response and nullifies the link between fear of pain and pain perception.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips