Why does it feel so good to curse? I mean like, vein flexing, screaming at the top of your lungs, windows down on the highway, letting it rip swearing?
Well it turns out others have also thought and investigated the same question. According to a 2021 Heathline.com article, researchers have found that swearing has the potential to help reduce stress, build emotional resilience and help in intense periods of pain. And now I’m listening …
Digging a little deeper, I then wanted to know more about what parts of the brain are activated during a good cursing session. Researchers have also found that cursing is a unique activity that engages BOTH sides of the brain, activating both the the left side’s language center and the right side’s emotional center. Think of those who have had a stroke causing language difficulties (aphasia) following but can speak clear as day when swearing. Yes, this is tracking for me. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I’ve treated aphasia before and know exactly the power of combining language and emotion for intervention success!
And given that I eat, sleep, breathe breathwork, I obviously wanted to explore if using explicits during exhalation on deep breathing activities would increase their stress releasing qualities. I am happy to report that in my own body, hell-o yes they do!
Deep breathing, diaphragmatic engagement, extended exhales – all of these have been linked to improved HRV, decreased stress and overall improved well being. And if you add in some alternate nostril breathing you also are now linking both hemispheres of the brain, body, spirit and soul.
If you’re following my train of thought, you are starting to see the parallels. Now channel your inner Captain Planet, “when our powers combine” … f’ing breathwork!
DISCLAIMER: This specific practice combing targeted verbiage with extended exhales has not been researched further than me inhaling through the nose for a count of 4 and exhaling/screaming “fudges” and “hellos” to a count of 8 while visualizing the release of any and all stress from my body. However, following 5 rounds I felt really good, clear headed, body loosened and overall lighter. Now I don’t want this to be your go-to pattern for breath and ending stress cycles, but I do see value in adding this situation-specific practice to your toolkit.
INPUT: I’m working on a specialty class with this exact practice in mind. Think alternate nostril breathing with keywords visualized on inhales/exhales; 4:8 breath counts while releasing the fudgiest of words on our exhales; and meditations using spicier than usual language to help engage your solar plexus energy to light the fire within. Is this something you would be interested in?