Oh, snap! It’s time to curb that potty mouth of yours!
No doubt about it, swearing is a common problem among a wide range of people. Nearly all cultures have curse words.
Generally speaking, it is socially unacceptable to swear. And in some situations you want to avoid it altogether, like around children. Who else has a parenting story about hearing their 4 year old say “Daddy, you’re not allowed to say sh*t!”? (See the irony there?)
According to a 2006 poll, 64% of Americans say they use the F word on a daily basis.
Why do we swear?
When we use an expletive, it makes us feel better because it’s a way to express ourselves verbally while releasing immediate stress or pain. Swearing out loud takes some of the pain away from that toe you just stubbed on the bedpost for the 100,000th time.
Sometimes we swear as a way to impress others. When I was in middle school I started using the F word around some of my friends for shock value. I got instant recognition among my more prudish peers as bold, daring, and fearless. Ha! In my little circle I was a badass!
When we are in a group of peers we may use profanity as part of the micro-culture. For example, your book club might let the F word fly around casually as you’re all sipping on Pinot, but when the kiddos pop in to say goodnight the conversation probably turns G-rated.
Cussing might be a result of verbal laziness. Sometimes we can’t find the word we’re looking for and substitute it with something from our profanity tool bag. Or we may use a taboo phrase as a way to fill space, similarly to how we use “um” or “you know”.
If you think you might be guilty of swearing too much and want to make a change, read on!
How to stop cussing so gosh darn much
Be hyper self-aware
The next time you catch yourself swearing, become aware of your triggers and work on recognizing your behavior the next time they come up. Being mindful of your tendency to curse in certain situations will help you to better control future reactions.
Retrain your brain
Hypnosis can help you curb any unwanted habit – including swearing! As a Certified Hypnosis Practitioner, I’ve helped many of my clients successfully quit unwanted habits like swearing. Because your subconscious has the ability to be retrained (a fancy term called “neuroplasticity”), we can work together to change the way you react to your triggers. We’ll do this using positive affirmations which will help your brain to view your trigger situations in a different, more positive way. Then, so that we are not leaving a void, we replace the habit (ie., swearing) with something healthier. Which brings us to our next tip….
Shut the front door! Use a minced oath
A minced oath is a “fake” swear word – something you use to substitute for the real thing. Even if you start with an authentic cuss word, follow up your faux pas immediately with an alternative to start training your brain.
My late grandfather was proud of his reputation as a crabby old man. “Cripes!” was his favorite exclamation and something I often heard during my visits as a youngster. I don’t know for certain, but I’m guessing he wasn’t quite as filtered around my adult relatives.
Some of my favorite minced oaths include cheese and rice, sugar, freak/freaking/flipping, and I’ve been known to exclaim Geez Louise! in mixed company. Son of a gun!
Do a little searching and find some fun new minced oaths to add to your vocabulary. You may not be surprised to learn that there are probably more minced oaths out there than actual swear words!
Squish something squishy
When something happens that typically causes you to swear, your subconscious immediately wants to react. Having an alternative tool nearby – and consciously using it – will help switch gears and focus on something physical rather than cussing. Squeeze a stress ball, pop a rubber band on your wrist, or snap your fingers to outwardly express your immediate stress or pain.
Make yourself accountable
Put together a contest at work, implement a swear jar, or tell your 10-year-old you’ll pay her $1 each time she catches you swearing. Regardless of the avenue you choose, having accountability causes you to be on your best behavior 24/7/365.
Hypnotherapy has also been proven to help reduce stress, which, ultimately will result in a reduced need to swear in the first place!
If you’re looking to change a bad habit, hypnosis may be the answer for you! Contact me or schedule a free, no-obligation consultation online.
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