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Got a secret? Should you keep it?

 
Everybody knows that secrets are meant to be kept...but everyone also knows that that’s way easier said than done. But is spilling those secrets really *that* bad?

 

Turns out, keeping secrets can be seriously stressful. According to The Atlantic, new research shows that for many people, holding in secrets actually feels like a physical burden.

Michael Slepian, a professor at Columbia University, conducted experiments that found that people with big secrets were less eager to help him move heavy boxes and saw tasks like carrying groceries as more daunting—likely because they felt like they were already carrying a burden.

Slepian believes that when you can’t share a secret, you’re left to internally obsess about it—some instances of secret keeping, in fact, have even been linked to increased risk of anxiety and depression.

Does all this mean that you're going to get sick if you hold in your bestie's super secret crush? Don't worry—according to Slepian, these effects only occur when you’re not happy to keep the secret, so anything you're

If you're stuck with something more serious that really is weighing you down, though, try to find a way to get the secret out and off your chest without really spilling it—write it down, say it to the mirror, tell your dog.  You could also tell a parent or relative that’s removed from the situation.  Slepian and his research team found that people who had found a way to “share” their secret no longer felt burdened. And remember—there are some secrets that you do need to tell an adult, like if a friend is struggling with something serious or planning on doing something dangerous to themselves or others.

What do you do when you're told a big secret? How do you deal with bestie burdens? Let us know!   

Photo courtesy of: online-educa.com

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by Katy Herman | 2/1/2016
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