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Let’s f@#king talk about why swearing is great for your mental health

Published on:23 November 2020, 14:15pm IST
We’ve all been looked down upon for swearing or using curse words because it makes one look crass. But, guess what? Swearing has some surprising benefits for your mental health.
Geetika Sachdev
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Here’s why you should swear without a care in the world! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Ever been scolded by your parents for swearing? Well, it has happened to most of us. We were told that cursing wasn’t just inappropriate but also very unhealthy. Although, the numbers speak a different story.

Research suggests that children start swearing by the time they turn 6 and tend to swear about 0.5 to 0.7 per cent of the time. Now, this may sound strange to a lot of people but science says it can help with your mental health in multiple ways. No, we aren’t kidding at all!

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According to Richard Stephens, a psychologist and author of Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad, “Swearing is handled by the brain differently than regular language. While most language is located in the cortex and specific language areas in the left hemisphere of the brain, swearing might be associated with a more rudimentary, older area of the brain.”

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Here’s how swearing can benefit your mental health:
1. It is cathartic

Have you noticed that you feel better after swearing? We’ve all experienced this and there’s no doubt that it is extremely cathartic. Psychologist Timothy Jay told Times Magazine, “It also communicates very effectively, almost immediately, our feelings.” Other words simply won’t have the same effect!

So, the next time you notice a flurry of emotions wash over you, use your favourite swear words and let out that negativity.

2. It makes you more honest and confident

Researchers who undertook a multi-part study in 2017 found that swearing and being honest had a huge link. In fact, that’s how the participants’ trustworthiness was also judged, and it was found that those who swear lie less. Besides, the data also suggested that “people regard profanity more as a tool for the expression of their genuine emotions, rather than being antisocial and harmful.”

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Moreover, swearing gives us more power and control to handle a bad situation. By cursing, we also show ourselves that we are not passive and can tackle anything that comes our way. All in all, it helps to boost your confidence.

3. It helps you bond with co-workers

You might think everyone hates the sound of the F-word, but that’s not true. What’s workplace conversation without swearing, isn’t it? It helps you let your guard down and makes for a good place to bond, and promote inclusivity.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pragmatics, researchers recorded 35 hours of conversations between a team of soap workers in New Zealand. It was found that curse words were used to express solidarity and be friendly, and in no negative connotation.

So the next time, someone raises an eyebrow when you swear, tell them you’re doing it for your mental health!

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Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.