Does Swearing Relieve Stress?

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Frustration, pain, anger, and excitement are all emotions that revel in the use of swear words. It is a way to express any number of emotions and offer relief to the mind.

But what is swearing and why does it feel so good sometimes to just let it all come out?

What is swearing?

Swearing or profanity is any type of language that is offensive. The expression of coarse or crude language occurs when strong feels require expression; while this is a simplified explanation of the emotional release that comes from swearing.

Emotional release of frustration and anger is the general goal of swearing. Swearing crosses cultures, genders and language barriers. One need not speak the language to understand the intensity behind the emotional expression of a swear word.

The Breakdown of Swearing

When it comes to swearing, there are several factors that influence who, what and how expression happens.

Researchers found that volunteers who held their hands in icy cold water were able to do so for longer periods of time when swearing. This was especially notable in the volunteers who did not swear frequently or at all.

The research, conducted at Keele University, showed raised heart rates and body temperatures from angry yelling. Their hypothesis follows the fight or flight motivation. The emotional sections of the brain activate when in the act of swearing.

The sex of the swearing person makes a difference during the expression. Women are less likely to use swear words for their expression of frustration or anger.

There is a multitude of reasons for this from being less accepting of swearing to gender roles of acceptability. While this is not as true as it once was, women still use swear words with less frequency than men.

The status of the speaker is a big reason for using swear words. It denotes a higher level of authority when commanding those around them.

Studies of teenagers and their use of profanity found that they used swear words with less frequency when not surrounded by their peers or when around their parents.

Their status is higher around those of their own age group than when they are addressing the adult world or those outside of their immediate circle of acquaintance.

The type of situation where the swearword’s used crosses genders and situations. Swearing occurs frequently by soldiers as a way to endure the rigors of active combat.

It happens on the football field where aggression naturally comes out during a heated game; expressed with purpose and as a way to release emotions during a difficult situation.

The message conveyed shows the anger and frustration of the situation. It occurs in rallies to motivate friends and coworkers to immediate action for a dangerous or frustrating situation.

This can include yelling and cursing out a worker that does something stupid that requires their immediate attention and indicates the possible dangers that needed avoiding.

Pain is a cause for cursing as it expresses the immediate intensity of the feelings. It did not increase the tolerance for the pain, merely gave it an outlet.

It is an expression of emotional arousal and provides for emotional release. The Keel University study found testosterone released in copious amounts during the swearing.

Channeling directed the swear words and helped pump them up more than if they were not swearing. Why we swear when confronted with pain and frustration is not fully clear. It may be the only way we can express the mind’s interpretation of the event.

To swear or not to swear

Emotions are what drive a lot of people to action along with the expression of words. They offer the clearest and fastest way to release the energy or internal buildup. It is a way to help endure a situation along with improved mental focus.

Swearing is a way to adapt to a situation that we are placed in while letting us adjust quickly to situations which are and are not outside of our control. It’s a way of coping with the life around us.

Most cultures have certain words or phrases that express situational problems. It is way the culture is united and is able to understand what others are going through.

What is it about Language?

Language connects people to each other and cultures around the world. It plays an amazing roll of connecting people through difficult situations and to broach emotional boundaries.

People who swear are not stupid or ignorant. Swear words belong to all classes and levels of people.

When times are tough and trying we fall back into the coarse language as a way to withstand the emotional or physical beating we are taking.

It is better to direct the frustration and the focus to endure a situation. The key is doing it in the right place at the right time.

Social situations direct the acceptance of the swear words. It is still not acceptable in “polite” situations, but the release is acceptable when stressed out and pressured.

It is also a way to help feel better when you have had enough of a situation or experience.

Final Thoughts

Swearing might not be socially acceptable for some people or situations but does bring relief. This is especially good for pain and stress.

As many anger management counselors’ state, it is good to let it out. It is also healthy. Just remember the situation and location dictate where it’s acceptable.

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