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Friends - Good for Your Health (Who Knew)?

Friendship Day is fast approaching!

The tradition of dedicating a day to honor friends began in the U.S. in 1935; now many countries worldwide mark the first Sunday in August as a time to celebrate that special bond. Robert Louis Stevenson is quoted as having said, "A friend is a present you give yourself." 

Turns out, he was more right about that than he probably knew! Why? Because hanging out with your friends on a regular basis is actually good for your health! A growing body of scientific research confirms that friends are beneficial not only for one's psychological well-being, but for physical health as well. One of the key findings is the connection between satisfying friendships and increased immune function.

As more is understood about the toll that stress can take on the body, more is also being learned about the protective effect of social support. In most cases, it reduces the risk and frequency of stress associated with a number of conditions - ranging from the common cold and headaches to asthma, diabetes and some types of cancer. Of course, family can be an important source of social support. However, in this age of job mobility, families are often separated geographically - meaning the role that strong friendships play increases in importance.

Now there's a little extra incentive to give your buddies a call and schedule some time together!

If there is a particularly special friend whom you'd like to honor with a meaningful gift, check out our personalized friendship plaques. As important as our earthly friendships are to us, certainly there is one friendship that is far greater. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans: "So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God."

Food for thought on Friendship Day......and every day!

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