blog-friends

That’s What Friends Are For

Keep smiling, keep shining

Knowing you can always count on me, for sure

That’s what friends are for

For good times and bad times

I’ll be on your side forever more

That’s what friends are for

Here at Banyan, we love awareness and recognition days. We also love anything that provides us with a creative avenue to spread messages about health promotion and disease prevention. It turns out that August 2nd was National Friendship Day. If that isn’t enough to make you smile and want to sing a verse from the quintessential friendship song, That’s What Friends Are For, consider the news that good friendships offer immense health benefits.

There are so many things you can and should do for your health and well-being—from regular check-ups and recommended screenings to making smart nutritional choices and engaging in regular physical activity—but we can’t think of anything that sounds like more fun than having and celebrating good friends.

I’ve always loved the closing line from It’s a Wonderful Life, “No man is a failure who has friends.” My friends add joy and laughter to my life, believe in me, cheer for me, inspire me, motivate me, pick me up when I’m down, and grant me the gift of doing the same things for them. Finding out that my friendships are also good for my health makes me feel like I hit the lottery! According to an article we found on WebMD, research has revealed that friendship has the following potential positive impacts on health:

  • Having friends may help you live longer;
  • Companionship provided by friends may ward off depression and boost self-esteem;
  • Social support may boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy for cervical cancer and lead to longer survival and less pain after being diagnosed with breast cancer;
  • The emotional support provided by friends may help you deal and cope with stress;
  • Having friends may reduce your chance of catching a cold;
  • Having a lot of friends helps people live longer after having a heart attack;
  • People with friends and social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems; and
  • Older people who report not feeling lonely tend to have lower blood pressure and better sleep quality.

In honor of National Friendship Day (hey – we’re only a few days late and we see no reason for a friendship celebration party to end), do something good for your health today – call a friend and laugh, hang out with your friends, hug a friend, and don’t forget to thank your friends for being in your life and helping you stay healthy! After all, that’s what friends are for.