Telling Secrets Can Be Bad for Our Health, Psychologists Say

New research reveals that stress from hiding information is harmful to the body.

June 22, 2017 5:00 am
Keeping Secrets Is Bad For Your Health
Keeping secrets can decrease stamina and the ability to pay attention, psychologists say. (Getty Images)

The secret’s out: Hiding things from others the can do a lot of damage to the body.

People that keep information close to their chest may be doing harm to their health, according to psychologists. The stress caused by keeping secrets has been found to decrease physical and cognitive abilities.

Researchers at Tufts University polled 2,000 people about their secrets, finding 38 common categories. These included secrets regarding things like sex, money, drugs, relationships, and work. The average person has, at any moment, five secrets from these 38 categories that they’ve never told anyone about, according to Quartz.

With each secret a participant held, researchers asked them about how they concealed it and how they felt about doing so. In their study, the psychologists found that people thought about hiding their secret twice as often as they actually needed to cover up the information.

Worrying about concealing the truth without having to do so creates unnecessary stress that deteriorates our well-being. Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the study found that it “led to deficits in intellectual acuity, interpersonal restraint, physical stamina, and executive function.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.