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Dropped something on your foot? Drop an f-bomb! It might actually make you feel better.

According to a 2009 study, swearing can actually help you cope with physical pain. In the study led by Dr. Richard Stephens, senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University (UK), subjects were asked to put their hand in a bucket of ice water. The potty-mouthed people were able to withstand the pain 40 seconds longer than those who kept their language clean.

Why does it work? One reason is that swearing is a form of distraction. When my sons were young and needed to get shots, the doctors and nurses always found ways to take the focus off of the needle. There wasn’t any cursing, of course, but a toy or book would usually do the trick. Some pediatricians even use videos to distract stressed out patients. Whatever works.

Dr. Stephens told The Sun, “Swearing is drug-free, calorie-free, cost-free, and side effects-free, so why not try it?” While all that is true, you do run the risk of offending someone. Not me, but someone. The researchers who wrote up the report in Archives of Physiotherapy said, “Patients should not swear at the therapist.” I, on the other hand, fully understand the need to let the expletives fly immediately following an injury.

Need more proof? Here’s a demonstration of the swearing study: