Research conducted by Brock Bastian and colleagues from the University of Queensland has found that feelings of guilt can be relieved with self-inflicted pain.
To find out how self-inflicting pain affects psychology, researchers asked two-thirds of the 62 participants of the study to write about their experience when they treated somebody badly. The rest of the participants were asked to write about a recent normal interaction. The participants were also asked to express and rank any negative feelings experienced by them after the interaction.
50% of the group that had treated somebody badly along with all participants who were contemplating on the neutral topic were asked to put their hand into a bucket of ice water and keep it in there for as long as they could. The rest of the participants were asked to dip their hand with a bucket of lukewarm water.
This means that experiencing pain relieved psychological pressure and feelings of guilt .