Before you read: this topic can be emotionally charging for some people. If you start to feel uncomfortable, angry or upset while reading, acknowledge the emotional charge and with great compassion take it as a sign that a part of you wants to be healed.
A few years ago I came across a video explaining how telling lies negatively impacts your physical & mental health. Since then, I’ve been more mindful of what I say (or omit saying) and how I answer a question because I realised that I was telling white lies almost every day!
From answering in autopilot “not so bad” or “I’m ok, thanks” when someone was asking me “how are you?” or telling my daughters there wasn’t any more chocolate in the house when I had just hidden it at the back of the cupboard.
Telling lies does not only bring you away from your true self, but it also has physiological, mental and emotional impacts on your health.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll only refer to white lies as the examples I described above.
Giving people a piece of your mind, saying brutal things or lying in front of a judge is inappropriate, rude and illegal so I won’t go there.
WHY DO WE LIE?
There are so many different reasons we lie. Ultimately, I believe it’s a form of protection from feeling strong emotions we haven’t been healing completely yet, including:
Fear of other people reaction
Looking for other people validation
Fear of being punished or told off
IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH
Some scientific studies show that lying has consequences on your physical & mental health as well as on the quality of your relationships.
Physical & Mental Health
Telling & maintaining a lie releases the stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol) which increase heart rate and blood pressure. It also lowers your immune system response. Over the years it can contribute to chronic stress, tension headaches, menstrual problems, infertility, feeling sad and stressed.
Quality of your relationships
Relationships based on lies (big or small) are superficial and weak. Not trusting yourself or someone else is disempowering for all. Over time, it can lead to low self esteem, feelings of loneliness and sadness.
HOW TO LIVE A MORE TRUTHFUL & HEALTHIER LIFE
The secret of living a more truthful and healthier life is to:
Become aware of your thoughts and mental patterns
Make a conscious decision to tell less white lies
Observe how you feel afterwards
Repeat the new behaviour until it becomes a habit
This process might take a while. These are some tips that will help to speed up the process.
Practice yoga & meditation daily
A daily 10-15mins practice is a very good start. You can check out my IG account to get some inspiration. If you can’t practice daily, then commit to 3-4 times a week for 8 to 10 weeks. Consistent practice will help you to become more aware of your physical sensations & mental activity. You’ll start to recognise habitual patterns.
Start with something simple, like becoming more aware of how you answer the question “How are you?”. Once you get comfortable with that, you can expand the scope of your truthfulness mission to other recurring questions or situations. Take it easy and be kind to yourself. Making progress is more important than getting it right from the get go.
Journal your experience
Journal regularly on your experience. What are the emotions that are pushing you to tell white lies? Do you feel any body part contracting? How does it feel to tell the truth? Journaling is a beautiful and intimate way to support you in creating new healthy habits.
Thanks for reading until the end!
If you’re willing to keep building & maintaining healthy physical & mental habits I’m inviting you to join me for HAPPINESS WEEK, starting on the 9th May!
In conjunction with UK Mental Health Awareness Week, Happiness Week is an online course where I’ll guide you to focus your attention on the positive things in your life for 7 consecutive days. Receive daily emails with happiness hacks from the fields of yoga, mindfulness & positive psychology as well as daily 5-15mins practices.
Check the event detail page to learn more and book your ticket :)
Until next time…
BE BOLD. DO LESS.