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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 June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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