Do you sneak a peek at the text messages on your husband’s cell phone or Google new friends upon first-meeting?
Snooping has become the norm in today’s tech-advanced society, but such behavior may put you at risk of damaging their relationships — and harming their health.
If you’re a snoop, you are at increased risk for…
Snooping can make you fat! It’s stressful to worry about being caught mid-snoop, and constantly covering your tracks when you poke around in other people’s business. Stress triggers production of cortisol, a hormone that, when present in increased amounts, interferes with the action of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin and can lead to an increase in appetite.
The stress of snooping also triggers the release of the hormone adrenaline. Both adrenaline and cortisol can speed up your heart rate and raise your blood pressure.
Impaired cognitive skills
Another effect of excess adrenaline and cortisol is to send blood rushing to the lungs, arms and legs as part of the fight-or-flight response. This leaves less blood and oxygen for the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for problem solving and other high-level cognitive functions. High cortisol levels also impair the memory center in the brain.
It’s natural to worry when something seems amiss, even if it turns out that you initially overreacted and the suspicious-looking pills in your teen’s sock drawer were just multivitamins. But if you are a habitual snooper, you spend so much time worrying that your brain may slip into a pattern of producing the cortisol and adrenaline associated with high anxiety, This can increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.
Obsessing about undiscovered information or pondering the ramifications of a recent find puts your brain in a state of heightened arousal. That makes it hard to dial down enough to allow restful, restorative sleep.