Swearing Increases Stress, Study Reports

Jason Shu '15, Contibuting Writer

Do you swear when stressed out? Alleviating stress may seem like a legitimate reason to let curse words fly when you have so much homework. A new study, however, suggests that swearing may actually increase your stress levels.
New research from the University of Bristol in England shows that swearing increases stress, not necessarily the other way around.
Test subjects were exposed to two of the most offensive words in the English language and two neutral words. Stress levels were higher in the test subjects’ brains after seeing the explicit words than after seeing the neutral words.
“I think there are other words to express yourself,”  says Health teacher Cristina Larson,
Blake students might take swearing leniently, but if it increases stress levels, we might want to be more careful.
What does this mean for you? Next time you get a C on that test, do not go straight for the curse words. If you really want to express your anger, a more stress-free way would be to use euphemisms. Euphemisms  are words that express an offensive or blunt idea more indirectly, such as “passed away” instead of “died.”
These kinds of words were also tested along with the actual swear words in the study. Predictably, euphemisms stress people out less than the actual swear words. So next time you feel like saying something offensive, keep in mind that there might be other ways to show people what you mean.