Keeping Secrets Could Be Affecting Your Health!


Kirsten Macnab |

By Kirsten Macnab. Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Spill the beans and live a healthier life

Have you ever had sleepless nights, where you stay up worrying about that secret that you’re holding on too. Secrets can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. It now turns out that keeping a secret can also affect your physical and mental health!

It is extremely difficult to pin down the health effects of secrets because you cannot create secrets in a laboratory. You can’t exactly ethically ask someone to cheat on their partner in the hopes of uncovering the immediate effects of holding onto a secret.

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A study published in Personality and Social Psychology has revealed that hiding secrets can affect your well-being and happiness negatively. This is because a secret can lead to you reverting back to your past wrongdoings. When you keep a secret, you often think that that will be the end of it. But, in actual fact, the secrets creeps back to haunt you again and again.

Basically, it is not the actual act of keeping a secret but rather the act of living with a secret that causes stress and anxiety. Holding onto your deepest darkest secrets can cause you to feel inauthentic. One of the co-authors of the study explains, “Secrets exert a gravitational pull on our attention, and it’s the cyclical revisiting of our mistakes that explains the harmful effects that secrets can have on our well-being and relationship satisfaction.”

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After the study analysed over 13,000 secrets, it found that people generally keep 13 secrets. Five of these they will never share with anyone! The study found that affairs, sexual behaviour and romantic desire were often secrets that people never share. Alternatively, secrets surrounding sexual orientation and marriage proposals were often revealed quite frequently.

So, don’t let secrecy get the best of you! Being secretive should not be affecting your well-being. Tell you secrets to someone close to you, write it down or hike up a mountain and yell it to the mountains. Do you battle to open up? Have sex! According to a study in the National Communication Association Journal, people are more likely to open up and spill their secrets after an orgasm.

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