If you think little white lies never hurt anybody, a new study might convince you that honesty is indeed the best policy.
The study, published by the American Psychological Association, shows that telling the truth can make you feel less sad or stressed and result in less physical complaints.
‘Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health,’ lead author Anita E. Kelly, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame said at an American Psychological Association convention. ‘We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health.’
Dr. Bryan Bruno, acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City told HealthDay that he agrees with the study. ‘People might recognize the more devastating impact lying can have on relationships, but probably don’t recognize the extent to which it can cause a lot of internal stress,” he said.
It makes sense. If you tell a lie, you have to remember you told it so you can continue to keep it up. That alone would make me anxious and stressed. Also, lying means you’re not happy with the truth’whether it’s how much money you make, what you ate on a given day, or how much you exercise’and instead of working on those things to make yourself happier, you don’t change anything but appearances. That’s enough to give anyone a major headache.
How many lies do you tell a week? Do you think lying less would make you feel healthier and less stressed and anxious?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor