Everyone has secrets to some extent. Are you holding on to a secret?
In childhood, we were all sworn to secrecy under the phrase “cross my heart and hope to die.” A recent Columbia University study claims that keeping a secret, whether it’s ours or someone else’s can hurt. The act of keeping a secret exerts not only an emotional toll, but also physical damage, influencing our perceptual judgments, and even behavior.
Holding on to secrets puts the brain in a compromised position by not allowing the cingulate cortex — wired to tell the truth — to perform its natural functions, and leading the cortex to become stressed. For better brain health, neuroscientists believe it’s better for us to confess to our secrets, or refuse to keep someone’s secret.
We encounter secrets in every area of life, they are perhaps most destructive when kept in the home. Families are our support systems; our identity — and our ability to form close relationships with others depends on the trust and communication we feel with loved ones. If family members keep secrets from each other — or from the outside world — the emotional fallout can last a lifetime.
Despite the dangers, are some secrets better left untold? Keeping secrets is part of human nature and not all secrets bring us stress, some are useful, even pleasant–and keeping them doesn’t have to be hazardous to your health.
What do you think? Join us and let’s talk about how to tell the difference between the kind of secret one should keep and the kind one shouldn’t? Do you think keeping secrets is a good or bad idea?
The conversation will be moderated by entrepreneur Susan Numeroff.
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” – André Malraux
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