We all have our secret shames. Guilty little skeletons in the closet that we would never dare to confess to even our closest friends. Well, not when sober, at least.
The great thing about the internet is its anonymity. Behind the protection of a screen, people can feel liberated to say things they never would in face-to-face conversation, and really say what they mean. Of course, it goes both ways and this can also lead to all kinds of bullying and abuse, but that's for another post.
This post is all about getting it off your chest and owning up to past wrongs. While confessing anonymously to randoms on the internet is hardly taking responsibility for one's actions, the very act of confession can alleviate feelings of guilt and help people to get on with their lives. From the hilariously trivial to the actually quite profound, these confessions will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, and might even make you reflect on your own past transgressions.
So scroll down below to check out the sordid details for yourself, and let the therapy begin!
According to an article in Scientific American, any type of open and truthful disclosure reduces stress and helps individuals come to terms with their behavior. "It is not coincidental that some of the most powerful people or institutions in many cultures encourage people to confess their transgressions," they write. "And there is very strong evidence that writing about upsetting experiences or dark secrets can benefit your mental and physical well-being."
"First, simply putting emotional turmoil into words changes how we think about it. Giving concrete form to secret experiences can help categorize them in new ways. For instance, when we translate emotional experiences into words and stories, we start to think about them in a simpler, less menacing context. There is no solid evidence to explain this phenomenon, but it most likely occurs because talking or writing about a disturbing event helps us understand it better. And things we do not understand cause greater anxiety."
"Dozens of studies have also shown that expressive writing is linked to less stress and improved sleep and cardiovascular function. We know that better sleep is associated with enhanced immune function and better general health—which correlate with better mental health, too."
"Expressive writing and religious confession are not panaceas, but these forms of release can help us get through difficult times. The beauty is that you do not have to be religious to benefit from confession. The underlying mechanisms are available to anyone for the price of a pencil and paper."
So there you go. Got any guilty secrets you've been holding on to? Try writing about them, and allow yourself to properly express your emotions. It is clearly a great benefit to both your mental and physical health!
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