Keep mum, my lips are sealed, keep a poker face, and take your secret to the grave are all phrases we have probably heard thrown around that all mean the same thing. Keeping a secret.

Everyone has secrets in their lives. You might have a good friend that you tell EVERYTHING to, but do they really know all of your secrets?

In contrast, there are some people who choose to keep their lips sealed about everything. They just slink along every day life without people really knowing what is going on.

Is either option right or wrong? Is it good to keep everything to ourselves?

According to research done, the average person in the United States has 13 secrets. Five of those secrets are totally secret that is shared with no one. There is also a 60% chance that one of those secrets is related to money.

A secret is defined as “an intention to conceal information from one or more individuals.”

So can you think of secrets you have in your life? Are there some that no one else knows besides yourself?

Sometimes the secrets we hold aren’t necessarily ours. They might be something that was told to us in confidence and it becomes our weight to bear.

Keeping secrets can sometimes affect us physically. They can cause your blood pressure to rise, you might lose sleep while stewing over this secret, your stomach might become upset or you might not be able to eat.

It can also affect your emotional health by leading to anxiety or depression.

Studies have also shown that sometimes keeping a secret leads to less stress, depending on what could happen should that secret be made known.

A scientist named James Pennebaker did a study in the 1970’s that showed people who wrote down their traumatic secrets actually showed signs of positive physical and mental improvements.

Pennebaker showed that writing out the secrets unclogged the brains. By expressing secret trauma, participants were able to lessen some of the burden they had been carrying. Of course, the paper containing the secret should be totally destroyed right after the exercise.

People usually keep secrets for three reasons. The first is that the person can gain an advantage from having information that other people do not have. The second is that the information might have negative consequences for the secret holder. And the last is that the information might be detrimental to someone else.

Not all secrets are bad though. Like making sure a birthday party stays a surprise. Or knowing about a pregnancy before other people.

It’s ok to have secrets and it’s a healthy sign of maturity.

So what should you do if someone decides to tell you a secret about them?

Well first, keep your mouth shut about it! It’s not your business, so keep it to yourself. No one likes a gossip. If the person trusted you enough to tell you in the first place, then don’t open your mouth and tell a bunch of other people.

Try not to put yourself in the situation that could cause you to leak out that information. Whether that be talking to certain people or about specific topics.

It’s ok to have secrets about yourself. The people in your life do not need to know every detail of your existence. It’s ok to be a little mysterious!

“The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” Roald Dahl.

“Secrets are a part of life. Their mysteries make our world beautiful. Their depths inspire our hearts, intrigue our minds and embrace our very souls.” Imania Margria