Whether you're hiding a family member's infidelity or your career promotion, lying has detrimental psychological impacts.
Secrets promote stress hormones, which raise blood pressure, impair sleep, and increase melancholy and anxiety.
Secret keepers are also more prone to take drugs and have chronic pain, according to research.
Secret keeping causes stress because we constantly think about the information we shouldn't share.
This is because thinking about the secret occupies our mental and emotional energy, and guilt and humiliation can produce a strong fear of its revelation.
The psychological cost of maintaining a secret depends on it. Not telling a friend about their surprise birthday celebration is one thing.
Covering up exam cheating is different. Remorse follows harmful secrets.