The Scary Truth About Lying & The Harmful Side Effects On Your Mind & Body

The Truth About Lying

Lying requires a lot of effort.

When you tell the truth, you simply remember what happens.

When you lie you have to consider what you’re trying to hide, figure out a believable version of the opposite, give a convincing performance to sell that lie, and then remember it for the rest of eternity so you never get caught.

Even if you’re pretending to love your grandmother’s disgusting fruitcake, that’s a lot of pressure. Furthermore, it builds and builds every time you lie. (And you all do, even if you don’t think so.) According to deception expert Pamela Meyer,


The average person lies three times within the first minute of meeting a stranger and between 10 and 200 times per day. We handle this constant lying well considering how remarkably often it occurs, but that’s especially easy to do when we have an easy time ignoring the consequences.

Lies, just like many other things, cause stress and anxiety. Our nervous systems are connected to our immune systems so it makes sense that our brain and our emotions can send out messages that affect our health. To put it simply, your body responds to the way you think.

When we think happy thoughts:

  • Our bodies produce endorphins; hormones that make us feel good.
  • Those chemicals also contribute to a stronger, healthier immune system.

When we are worried, anxious or generally stressed out:

  • Our bodies produce different kinds of hormones such ascortisol, and norepinephrine.
  • Cortisol increases blood sugar and suppresses the immune system.
  • Norepinephrine kick starts the “flight or fight” response meaning our heart rate accelerates and our blood pressure goes up.

Affects of Lying on health

If you need more proof, consider thepolygraph machine (what’s come to be known as the “lie detector”). They don’t actually detect lies, specifically, but rather the signs of stress that accompany telling them. While stress isn’t a definitive indicator of lying, it’s often a good clue. Author David Ropeik points to a study that found additional evidence:

Joe Navarro, former FBI agent and author of What Every BODY Is Saying, says it best:

The truth is that there is not one single behavior indicative of deception. [Instead], there are behaviors that are indicative of when a person is having distress, or anxiety, or psychological discomfort.

Lying can cause this type of distress, but so could many other things. For example, Navarro interviewed one woman who showed all of the nonverbal cues one might associate with deception, but in reality she was nervous because her parking meter had run out and was merely afraid of getting a ticket. Even lie detectors are susceptible to this weakness, so you need more evidence to truly detect a lie.

Now that we have seen the harmful stressing effects that lying has on your body and mind; lets take a look at some of the benefits to taking an honest approach.

8 Benefits of telling the truth:

1. The repercussions of telling the truth (even when it hurts) is far less taxing on the mind and body than telling a lie.

2. You will save your sanity and physical health

3. You may be able to end an offense quickly by saying you’re sorry (if you did something wrong) and offer a way to make up for your mistake or error instead of lying about it and therefore putting yourself in a position where you have to consistently substantiate the charade of a lie.

4. You can win the respect and support of others by simply telling the truth about an embarrassing situation and taking responsibility for your actions.

5. You will gain the reputation for being an honest person. This goes a long way in a world where the average person tells between 10 and 200 lies per day.

6. People will eventually become more truthful to you and in return you will worry less about whether others are telling you lies.

7. By being a truthful person, you’ll become more persuasive. People will trust you more. It’s ironic, but truthful people get more of what they want in life and if you get what you want you have less to stress about.

8. By being truthful, you’ll sleep better, eat healthier and consequently, you’ll look better.

Stay Healthy, Stay Honest

Remember, whether you call them fibs, white lies, or exaggerations, if it isn’t the whole’s a lie.

We don’t often realize that something as simple as the words we chose, can make us ill, but it’s true. Lies will eventually eat you alive; the truth will support and nourish your mind, body and spirit.

So don’t jeopardize your mental and physical well-being by letting fear rule your actions and choice of words. Lies will enslave you…and as the saying goes, “The truth will set you free”.


*Sources: – What Lying Actually Does To Your Brain And Body.  

Cogic Family Services – How does lying affect your health?




  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    thanks this was really helpful for my speech;)

  • Anonymous

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    Very good

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    Thank you you helped my speech

  • Anonymous

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    I’ve seen this exact article on another website.

    • Anonymous

      Reply Reply

      Still helpful for my paper though

  • Anonymous

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    Nice 1

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    This is plagiarism. I have seen this exact same article on another website.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    This article is good

  • anonymous

    Reply Reply

    very helpful and clear and consise

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