We all know honesty is the best policy, but did you know telling lies can actually be bad for your health?!
A new study says that telling lies is bad for both your physical and mental health. A group of researchers took 110 people and gave them lie detector tests for 10 weeks. During that time, half of the volunteers were told not to lie to anyone for any reason, while the other half went about their lives as normal. The “honest” group members were allowed to omit the truth or refuse to answer questions, but they couldn’t be caught outright telling lies about anything, big or small.
The results were pretty surprising. You’d think that not being able to tell even a little white lie (“The dog ate my homework!” or “That haircut looks nice!”) would be stressful, but it turns out telling lies is a lot worse for you, even when it seems innocuous. The more subjects lied, the more physical and mental health complaints they reported each week. The fewer lies told, the fewer physical and mental ailments everyone felt. The ailments that those telling lies (and the honest group, though not as often nor as much) reported included tension and melancholy (mental) and sore throats and headaches (physical). Who knew telling lies could give you a sore throat?!
The scientists behind the study don’t think that the link between telling lies and feeling crappy is a coincidence. Telling lies increases stress, which is bad for your mental and physical states, so this whole study makes a lot of sense! Plus, don’t you find that when you’re telling lies you’re always a little worried about getting caught–or even just being able to remember your tall tales?
While the researchers don’t necessarily think that telling lies will kill you, nor that being completely honest all of the time will keep you from getting sick, but they do believe that the stress levels involved with telling lies can have an affect on your health. So next time you’re thinking of faking sick to stay home, remember–telling lies to get out of school may actually increase your chances of getting sick later!
Do you get stressed out after telling lies? Has telling lies ever gotten you into trouble? Have you ever gotten sick after telling lies? Tell us in the comments!