By Michael Castleman for Live Right Live Well
The result: Students who swore -- most used words beginning with “f” or “s” -- reported significantly less pain. They were also able to keep their hands in the ice water longer -- an average of 190 seconds, compared to 140 seconds for those who used neutral terms.
Why would swearing reduce pain? One possibility is it serves to distract you. In addition, “increased pain tolerance is associated with [strong] emotional reactions,” says study co-author Richard Stephens, a professor of psychology at Keele University in England. For example, a hard slap on the back hurts. But when you feel elated because your team just won a big game, you hardly notice such a blow.
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