Magazine article Psychology Today

Under the Skin

Magazine article Psychology Today

Under the Skin

Article excerpt

KEEPING A SECRET sometimes requires deliberate acts of deception, like diverting attention midway through a sensitive conversation or striking certain details from a story about what you did last night. But new research suggests that it is a secret's quiet nagging at us, not the act of concealing it, that helps explain why secret keeping is associated with outcomes such as anxiety and poor physical health.

In a series of studies, researchers at Columbia University found that, on average, the more frequently people said their minds wandered to the secrets they kept, the greater the negative impact they reported the secrets having on their well-being and the lower their ratings of life satisfaction. The decline in well-being tied to carrying secrets was in turn associ - ated with lower self-ratings on a physical health survey. …

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