Swearing Can Literally Dull The Pain

Swearing Can Literally Dull The Pain

A 2009 study published in NeuroReport demonstrated that swearing could help people withstand pain. When asked to put their hands in a tub of icewater, subjects could keep their hands submerged for longer when they repeated a swear word, as opposed to a neutral word. Researchers theorize that this effect is due to swearing prompting the body's fight-or-flight response.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Every language in the world has swear words. (0:31)

  • 2

    Swearing seems to activate the brain's endogenous opioid center, resulting in a reduction of pain. (1:39)

  • 3

    Swearing can encourage social bonding. (2:18)

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