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Big Secrets Can Burden You Physically

world on your shouldersWe all have secrets. Some are big, some are small and some we can barely even remember. What are the effects of keeping secrets? While it might preserve a friendship, it can also lead to stress, the depletion of cognitive resources and adverse health outcomes (Penebaker, 1990, cited in Slepian, Masicampo, Toosi & Ambady, 2012). Additionally, a number of persons have deep dark secrets – the type of secret that, if made public, will bring about swift, life-altering and usually unwanted consequences.  Individuals in this situation often complain about carrying a secret, being burdened by a secret or being weighed down. Are these merely linguistic flourishes or is there something more to these metaphorical statements? Continue reading

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