Oftentimes we find it acceptable to tell what we call “white lies” to the people around us, for a multitude of reasons.

Maybe you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or maybe you just don’t feel like dealing with a situation and tell a little lie to avoid it altogether. Besides, these lies are harmless…or so we used to think.

A new study from the American Psychological Association has found evidence that lying may actually have negative health consequences.

Think back to grade school, when we all learned that President George Washington could never tell a lie, and he lived to the ripe old age of 67 — a lot based on 1700’s standards. Consider that the average person in his time only lived to age 36!

For those who prefer more scientific evidence, consider this: The group of people within the study who told the most lies suffered from higher levels of anxiety, depression and exhaustion, among other ailments. On the other hand, the study participants who made it a point not to lie overall had better mental and physical health.

More benefits of being honest: Stronger, more solid relationships, as well as fewer feelings of tension overall health problems. Seems like a no-brainer to us – if being honest is an easy (and cheap!) way to boost our health and wellness, we should all be taking advantage.