It’s a scene straight out of an old comic strip: hammer… hammer… hammer… MISS.
Next panel: A giant red thumb and a string of text that looks something like !!&%*@!
We all KNOW what those symbols are covering up. We know it because it’s what we want to yell ourselves when we’re in pain.
But we keep it in. We hold our tongue because we were taught it’s rude to let those four-letter words fly.
Well, maybe it’s time to let it all out. Not all the time, of course. That WOULD be rude. But when you’re in pain, new research reveals that belting out a rhapsody in blue language might give you some much-needed relief.
There’s just one little catch.
A four-letter SHOUT can chase pain OUT
Sure, we don’t use curse words in polite company. But pain is anything but polite company.
Pain is an unwelcome interloper. It’s an unwanted guest who storms into your life and tries to seize control over it. And that’s when it’s time to get tough. Because when pain shows up, it’s no longer time to be polite.
And as it turns out, that’s not just a metaphor. Because a new study shows how RUDE LANGUAGE just might help send that pain packing and allow you to retake control.
Researchers cooked up a test where volunteers had to plunge their hands into icy water. They timed to see how long it took folks before they started to feel pain. And then how long it was before they reached their tolerance limit had to pull their hands out.
Then, the researchers repeated the test but had the volunteers let loose yelling out some choice words.
Believe it or not, those words… the ones you wouldn’t use in polite company… actually helped. It took longer for the volunteers to feel any pain. And it was longer before hitting that threshold where they had to pull their hands out of the icy water too.
Overall, curse words increased pain tolerance by a third.
The bad words essentially triggered a biological reaction called stress-induced analgesia. That’s when a powerful emotion such as stress or fear can literally dull pain.
Think of it this way. If you’re walking and step on a pin, you’ll howl in pain. But if you’re running from Cujo and step on a pin, you may not even notice it. That’s stress-induced analgesia.
Keep the curse REAL for REAL relief
But like I said earlier, there IS a catch.
The study also tested FAKE profanities. They had people yell out some words that sounded like they might be bad, but aren’t. Think of it as the real-world equivalent of those “!!&%*@!” balloons in the old cartoons.
They had the same volunteers repeat the tolerance tests while yelling out “twizpipe” and “fouch.”
Those words upped the humor quotient and even triggered a little bit of an emotional response. But they had ZERO EFFECT on the pain itself.
So if you want the effect… if you want a little instant drug-free pain relief of up to a third… go ahead and let those bad words fly. It’s the one time you can get away with it. And I promise I won’t tell anyone.