Vent with ben­e­fits

Shape (Malaysia) - - YOUR RIGHT NOW -

Do you gos­sip when you hang with friends—or are you a rare an­i­mal with the so­cial mores of a saint and an iron will? Well, now those of us who can’t hold back from dish­ing the dirt no longer have to pre­tend we’ll ever stop. Re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Pavia in Italy found that af­ter gos­sip­ing, peo­ple’s level of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol dropped and their level of the love-and-bond­ing hor­mone oxy­tocin in­creased—a feel-good uptick that sim­ply chat­ting didn’t spark. (Some­thing we all knew in our gut.) It may be be­cause gos­sip­ing serves a unique so­cial pur­pose, the study au­thors say. “Gos­sip helps you process other peo­ple’s be­hav­ior and acts as a re­lease valve to re­lieve the pres­sure from a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion,” says lead re­searcher Natas­cia Brondino, M.D.

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