Lying Less Makes You Healthier

Anne-Marie Guarnieri, Allure magazine

How many lies do you think you tell in a week? Go on, guess. And don't say "None," because that right there is a lie, sister. Turns out the average American tells 11 lies a week, according to new research from University of Notre Dame professor Anita Kelly. Another discovery: Reducing the number of lies you tell can significantly improve both your mental and physical health.

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According to a report from Science Daily, during a 10-week experiment, Kelly directed half of the 110 participants to stop lying, completely. No, "I really like your haircut!" No, "Those pants don't make your butt look big!" No lies, big or small.

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Over the course of the experiment, the 55 sooth-sayers all reported feeling less tense and sad, and they also had fewer physical complaints, like headaches and sore throats, than the 55 lying-liars. And by the end of the 10 weeks, the non-liars reported that their personal relationships seemed to improve, as well. "Statistical analyses showed that this improvement in relationships significantly accounted for the improvement in health that was associated with less lying," said study co-author Lijuan Wang.

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So: honesty! Turns out it's not only the best policy, but the healthiest and the happiest, too.

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