Why It's Good for You to Say the F-Word!Go ahead and drop the f-bomb! Let out a string of expletives that would horrify your mama. Swearing has been shown to actually relieve physical pain, such as stubbing your toe or slamming your finger in a door. And that's not all. Cursing also helps assuage the suffering of social distress, such as a broken heart or hurt feelings.
That's the word from psychology researchers at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, who have determined that swearing works to alleviate social and physical pain by diluting the intensity of pain and by distracting the person in pain.
The study: Led by Dr. Michael Philipp of Massey and Laura Lombardo of Queensland, the team recruited 70 college students who were split into two groups. Each was asked to write about a distressing social event in an effort to recall and induce those upsetting emotions. Then the students were tested for feelings of social pain and sensitivity to physical pain and were randomly assigned to say aloud a swear word or a non-swear word in response to the pain.
The results: Put simply, swearing is good for relieving both physical and emotional pain. It is precisely because swearing is taboo that it has a cathartic healing power. But if you curse every day for trivial or mildly irritating situations, it will weaken the magic of profanity's healing properties.
Two important caveats: