The benefits of using swear words

So you jammed your finger. Or perhaps you got caught in unexpected traffic.

Maybe your air conditioner is out in your car and your radio is, too. You could also just be getting a tattoo.

Go ahead and swear away if so. Researchers found releasing the tension verbally has multiple benefits related to coping with pain and circumstances. (Full disclosure here: The study was done in 2009, but swear words are timeless, so it still applies.)

The study, conducted by Richard Stephens of Keele University in England, asked students to submerge their hands into cold water and either pick a non-swear word to cope or an expletive of their choice.

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The 67 students who swore were able to keep their hands in the water for nearly 40 seconds longer, the study found. The term for this isn't a combination of a swear word and an adjective, but instead a scientific one: hypoalgesic effect of swearing.

In addition to being a pain reliever, swearing can also be a defense mechanism. Using expletives taps into the fight-or-flight component to increase heart rate and thus reduces pain and can also fend off would-be attackers by making one seem more brash, according to Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker.

Be careful not to swear too much in regards to pain, though. Stephens warns the expletives can lose their positive effect if used excessively.

Swearing doesn't have to be used in negative situations only, however.

Elite Daily makes the case for using expletives to establish creativity, empathy and emphasis among other things. And maybe their best argument of all? Using a swear word won't make you feel any worse about something than not using one would.

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