New studies show that our brains often battle with themselves ~ as in the case of keeping a secret ~ and create stress in the process. According to NPR.org:
Your brain doesn't like to keep secrets. Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, have shown that writing down secrets in a journal or telling a doctor your secrets actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body.
Keeping a secret, meanwhile, does the opposite.
Your brain also doesn't like stress hormones. So when you have a secret to tell, the part of your brain that wants to tell the secret is constantly fighting with the part of your brain that wants to keep the information hidden, says neuroscientist David Eagleman.
"You have competing populations in the brain — one part that wants to tell something and one part that doesn't," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And the issue is that we're always cussing at ourselves or getting angry at ourselves or cajoling ourselves. What we're seeing here is that there are different parts of the brain that are battling it out. And the way that that battle tips, determines your behavior."Eagleman's new book, Incognito, examines the unconscious part of our brains and the complex neural networks that constantly fight one another and influence our behavior.