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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”