Honesty may be the best policy, but let’s face it, everyone’s pants are on fire from time to time. And we’re not only fudging the truth with our friends, family, and coworkers—we’re also deceiving ourselves.

“It’s an emotional and physical defense mechanism to distort the way we see things from time to time,” says Simon Rego, Psy.D., director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center. “These automatic thoughts can fill our heads without our even being aware of them or their inaccuracy.”

Not a good thing since Notre Dame researchers found that these fibs may impact your health. In a study of 110 adults, those who were told not to lie not only told the truth more often, they also reported improvements in their relationships, better sleep, less stress and sadness, and fewer headaches and sore throats.

To improve your health and your life, prove yourself wrong about these five common lies with our expert tips.

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