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Can Swearing Help You Relieve Stress? Study Gives The Answer

Can Swearing Help You Relieve Stress? Study Gives The Answer

Have you ever felt like yelling obscenities at your colleagues on some days and your boss on any given day? Or what about taking cold spaghetti and throwing it at that fillet-o-fish ordering guy in front of you who just cut in line? Oh, and that guy who just stepped on your new $500 velvet shoe without apologizing — don’t you just wish you could dump cold coffee on his head and walk away?

How to reduce stress by swearing

Instead of playing out these sinister fantasies in your head over and over again, there is actually a better alternative which most people refrain from: swearing. “But wouldn’t it make the situation worse and possibly even get yourself beat up?” Researchers might have the answer on how to reduce stress by swearing tactfully.

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Swearing reduces pain

Scientists at Keele University conducted an exercise to see if using expletives could have a painkilling effect on us. In the exercise, student volunteers were made to put their hands in a bucket of ice and were instructed to swear repeatedly. For another group of test subjects, students were instructed not to swear.

And the results? Swearing can increase the numbing effect by up to four times as compared to the group of students who did not swear. Dr. Richard Stephens, who was involved in the research, said that swearing has persisted through centuries and is almost universally and linguistically utilized everywhere. And there’s so much truth in that. How else are would our ancestors fight wars without swearing?

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Swearing can build solidarity

A 2003 study done by New Zealand researchers found out that workers in a soap factory were swearing together and in a certain context, swearing can help build solidarity among a group. Because swearing also serves as a way to manage emotions, it does have positive effects in certain contexts. This phenomenon is so significant that more studies have been dedicated to swearing these days.

Swearing works, but only if it is done correctly

Swearing can work in many contexts as according to Dr Stephens. If a swear word is used occasionally by a performer, they can get a funny reaction. Overuse it, and nothing else happens. Just like in a conversation, if a swear word is used in a novel sense, it will have shock value and people will find it funny. Overuse it, and people will just think it’s rude. By using the right amount of swear words, people are able to change a negative emotion into one that is positive.

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Swear words can be used in meditation

Our perception of meditation is all about freeing our mind from all the clutter that our busy lives have given us. It’s a peaceful and serene activity, but why not add in a few swear words to make it extremely unpretentious? This was exactly what writer and director, Jason Headley did. With a calm and soothing voice, Jason was giving his wife some words of encouragement with a little bit of expletives involved which got them bursting into laughter and having found the best way on how to reduce stress.

After that, Jason created a video called “F*ck That: An Honest Meditation” and it was an instant hit. The video went viral with 6.5 million views with many asking for more of what was intended to be just a joke.

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Unpretentious Yoga: Rage Yoga

Swearing somehow loosens and opens people up. Istace, the founder of rage yoga, got the idea of a new form of yoga that helps you let off steam by using expletives. What started off as a joke with her friends became a hit and something that people can connect with.

The idea of rage yoga is to transfer negative emotions into positive emotions by using expletives in the right way and environment. To give you an example, rage yoga classes start with a calm moment of telling the students to “let go of the sh*t-storm of their day.”

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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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