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Go Ahead and Curse. You'll Feel Better.

If you sometimes have potty-mouth - especially when you hurt yourself - take heart. You may actually doing yourself some good by shouting some expletives.


A recent study by British scientists found that saying some swear words can actually have a pain-killing effect. Their experiment was carried out on 67 college students, who were divided into two groups that plunged their hands into frigid water. One group was given free reign to swear and the other had to repeat a neutral, boring non-swear word.

So, guess who was able to keep their hands submerged longer? That's right - the group that swore. This group also reported lower levels of pain, even more so for the women of the group.

One theory is that your brain gets distracted by your anger and the pain response is diminished. (Makes me think about all those TV shows and movies that show women screaming and cursing during childbirth. Hmm...I never did that, choosing instead to suffer in silence. But, suffer I did - so maybe all the screaming women knew something about pain relief that I didn't.)

So, next time I hurt myself I think I'll let it loose.

Good thing my kids are grown.

How do you handle pain? Do you have a favorite word? Here's a real-life video of some people testing this out.

For more on pain, click here and here.

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(Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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