Most people fight the urge to snoop through their partner’s personal things because it’s a breach of trust in the relationship, but snooping can also wreak havoc on your health according to a recent MSNBC report. The mental strain of agonizing over what your partner may or may not be doing is bad enough, but that stress can also cause negative physical effects, like:
It may sound crazy at first, but when you think of all the stressing you do when you’re just considering checking your man’s phone or breaking into his email account, it’s not surprising that snooping can lead to emotional overeating and cause you to pack on the pounds—especially if you find something that confirms your suspicions. Stress also triggers production of cortisol, a hormone that interferes with the action of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin when it’s present in increased amounts. This can lead to an increase in appetite–and more food on your plate.
We all know replaying a series of “what if” situations through our heads has kept us tossing and turning throughout the night on more than one occasion. The possibilities we conjure up in our heads are often worse than the reality, which is why Lisa Brateman, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist, suggests talking honestly with the person you’re prone to snoop on. When people ask questions instead of snooping there is a level of respect in the relationship that lets you relax and get to the underlying issue, Brateman says. “We can deal with what we know about head-on.” So instead of sneaking peaks at his text messages when your man runs to the bathroom, just ask him what the deal is outright.
Impaired Brain Function
Snooping also brings on the fight-or-flight response, increasing levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Blood rushes to the major organs and extremities, leaving less for the frontal lobe which is the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory, problem solving, and judgment calls.
Dawn Billings, a psychotherapist in Orange City, FL, says you should ask three questions to ground yourself before tapping into that twitter account:
- Why do I have this need to snoop?
- How would I damage my relationship with the person I am snooping on if I were caught?
- Am I harming, violating, or breaking someone’s trust by snooping?
I suppose on the other hand you could ask, who cares, if you suspect the other person has already violated your trust. But once you snoop, you can never go back (if you get caught).
Are you a snooper? Has snooping ever taken a toll on your health?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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