Loving pain often seems like a difficult attitude to understand, but there are scientific facts behind it. Scientists say that the feeling of pain may actually be linked to pleasure, a phenomenon called ‘benevolent masochism’. When we feel pain, the brain releases happiness hormones like endorphins. These hormones also trigger other feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. This process allows pain to become a kind of pleasure.

The Role of Spicy Foods

The Scientific Basis and Effects of Enjoying Pain

Especially when it comes to spicy foods, the consumption of these foods is not only driven by a masochistic tendency. Spicy foods are known to have antibacterial properties throughout history and are therefore preferred in some cultures. In addition, eating these foods activates the taste buds on the tongue and the nerves to the brain. When the taste buds on our tongue detect bitterness, this sends signals to our brain that the food is clean and fresh.

The Cultural Dimension of Enjoying Pain

The Scientific Basis and Effects of Enjoying Pain

As a result, the tendency to enjoy pain has both a biological basis and a cultural background. According to the theory of benevolent masochism, people may feel that consuming some pain brings them happiness and satisfaction.

Source: Cambridge University Press

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