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Swearing Aloud Relieves Emotional Pain

Whether your friend has hurt your feelings or you’re upset over a lovers tiff, swearing could help to ease your pain, according to new research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Carried out by Dr Michael Philipp, a lecturer at Massey University’s School of Psychology, New Zealand, along with Laura Lombardo from the University of Queensland, Australia, the work looks at the effect of swearing on “short-term social distress,” which could be anything from an argument with your partner to being excluded from a social situation.

Although previous studies have looked at common methods for relieving both physical and social pain, fir example with paracetamol, none have so far looked at whether swearing aloud could also help relieve social distress in the same way that it has previously been shown to ease physical distress.

To test this idea, the study looked at Pain Overlap Theory, which suggests that physical and social/emotional pain share the same underlying processing system, and anything affecting physical pain will also have similar effects on social pain. 

For the research 70 participants were split into two groups, and tested for feelings of social pain and sensitivity to physical pain.

During the study participants had to write either about an inclusive social situation, or a distressing one, to induce the corresponding emotions. They were then were randomly assigned to either swear aloud or say a non-swear word aloud.

The results showed that those participants who were socially distressed experienced less social pain and less sensitivity to physical pain than those who didn’t swear.

“Previous research suggests that social stressors, like rejection and ostracism, not only feel painful but also increase people’s sensitivity to physical pain,” explained Dr Phillip. He also added that swearing can help ease both social and physical pain by reducing its intensity, by distracting the person in pain.

However, Dr Phillip also pointed out that swearing may not have the same effect if used on an everyday basis or in a situation which is only mildly irritating or stressful, when the use of profanity may lose its impact.

He also added that swearing is not a quick answer for those experiencing serious emotional pain and stress such as grief or abuse, when clinical care may be needed.

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Previous research on swearing has also found that cursing aloud can make you stronger. In a small-scale study published early last month, a team of researchers found that participants who completed a test of anaerobic power — a short, intense period on an exercise bike — and isometric handgrip test — produced more power and had a stronger grip if they swore while completing the exercises.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
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Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Swearing Aloud Relieves Emotional Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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