Big Secrets Weigh You Down
We've made it pretty clear here that emotions happen in the body. As it turns out, we physically keep secrets as well. New research suggests that we think of weighty secrets as a physical burden, whether we realize it or not.
Researchers had volunteers write out a description of either a serious—such as an infidelity—or a frivolous—such as enjoying a cheesy movie—secret. They then asked the volunteers to look at a hill and estimate its steepness. The volunteers who had been prompted to consider a serious secret rated the hill as being steeper than those who considered a trivial secret.
Could keeping big secrets literally weigh you down? Everyone who has ever felt the urge to share a friend's juicy secret understands how intensely knowing something can make you feel. Being psychologically burdened naturally affects how physically burdened we feel, even if we don't realize it.