Reuters: Swearing can make you feel better, lessen pain

Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Cut your finger? Hurt your leg? Start swearing. It might lessen the pain.

Researchers from the school of psychology at Britain’s Keele University have found swearing can make you feel better as it can have a “pain-lessening effect,” according to a study published in the journal NeuroReport.

Colleagues Richard Stephens, John Atkins and Andrew Kingston, set out to establish if there was any link between swearing and physical pain.

“Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon,” says Stephens.

“It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists.”

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