Consider this the next time someone chastises you for dropping an F-bomb or two.
While swearing may have once been considered an unsavory habit, research has found there are some benefits to using more colorful language. Not only does cursing come with some mental and physical health perks, it also could positively affect how you converse with others. In other words, it’s pretty darn good for your overall well-being.
Need some evidence? Below are a few science-backed reasons why it isn’t so bad to incorporate a few swear words into your lexicon:
Swearing is an effective way of communicating.
Research has shown that cursing might increase the effectiveness and persuasiveness of an argument. Not only that, swearing can communicate how you feel about a certain subject without explicitly explaining it or resorting to a physical altercation, the BBC reported:
By swearing, we not only communicate the meaning of a sentence, but also our emotional response to the meaning — our emotional reaction to something. It also allows us to express anger, disgust or pain, or indicate to someone that they need to back off, without having to resort to physical violence.
It might mean you’re more honest.
A recent study found that people who swear often lie less and have higher levels of integrity. Researchers examined participants’ profanity use and had them do a lie scale, which is a series of evaluations that ask redundant questions to determine a person’s truthfulness. The study found a positive relationship between those who cursed and their honesty levels.
It improves your pain tolerance.
If letting out a few expletives helps when you stub your toe, there might be a reason for that. A study published in 2011 found that swearing can increase your ability to withstand pain. Researchers hypothesized that cursing can activate your body’s release of natural, pain-relieving chemicals that have a similar soothing effect to drugs like morphine, Time reported.
Swearing is a sign of intelligence.
Just call yourself a smarty pants. Studies have suggested that a fluency in taboo words is associated with possessing a larger vocabulary in general. Researchers who have studied swearing also say that the habit may be linked with a higher IQ.
It may make you perform better during exercise.
Pumping out profanities may help you pump some iron. Research conducted in 2017 suggested that swearing could affect the outcome of your workout. Study participants were examined during bicycle and hand-grip exercises and were told to either repeat neutral words or curse words during the activities. In both tests, swearing helped improve performance, The New York Times reported.
It may give you a sense of calm.
Experts say that overall, if you want to let the cuss words fly, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“The health benefits of swearing include increased circulation, elevated endorphins, and an overall sense of calm, control and well-being,” Neel Burton, a psychiatrist based in Oxford, England, and author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, wrote in Psychology Today.
Those are all some damn good excuses.