Improve Your Health by Volunteering
Too many people have forgotten how good they feel after lending a helping hand or helping out in their community. However, the benefits of volunteering are so great that people should reconsider or reevaluate their thoughts and help others more often. Apart from tremendously benefiting that occur in the community, service to others can have great benefits to the individual volunteering as well. It is like when you help others, the benefits come back to you. As you volunteer, you end up making new friends. This helps you boost your social skills and expand your networks making volunteering a very uplifting endeavor. Let’s take a look at how volunteering can help your sense of well-being:
Counteracts the Effects of Stress
When you have regular social contact with like-minded people it can have a profound effect on your psychological sense of well-being. According to research studies, volunteering is comparable to paying it forward. By offering service to others you improve your overall happiness and mental well-being. A US national survey found that volunteers were more likely to report feeling healthier. In another study in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine, it was established that people who volunteer are happier. It all boils down to the time spent helping others, you create a sense of meaning and appreciation for yourself and others, which can have a calming effect.
Making New Friends, Associates, and Increasing Social Skills
Offering service together is one of the ways of building on existing relationships and making new friends. Each time you volunteer it automatically sets you up to meet someone new. You never know who you might end up working with.
Volunteering will help strengthen your ties to the community and help you broaden your support network. When you help others, you get the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills. These become life long skills, and most likely will all of these over time, learning something new, teaching others, learning to co-operate better, problem-solving and the list can go on with each time you get involved in your community or organization.
Let me tell you about a true story. When my family and I first arrived in St. George my wife and I volunteered to work at the St. George Marathon. At one of the stations that I happened to be at, a gentleman, also volunteering, struck up a conversation with me. To me, it seemed like regular chit chat about each others lives. The following week, this person contacted me to do seated massage for his employees during tax season. It has now been seventeen years later, he has since left the company, but I’ve been contacted every year, during tax season to provide seated massage for the employees at that office. You never know who you might end up volunteering with.
Volunteering Fights Depression
Get your healthy dose of the feel-good hormones of endorphin or dopamine. Have you ever noticed that after you’ve done something nice for someone else you feel great and charged up? Acts of kindness, of serving others can help to release these natural feel-good hormones in the body and do wonders for your brain to overcome overwhelm. Paying it forward with others and the social interactions will help to uplift your spirits. The more you get involved, the more you get out of your head about the worries in your life. Not only are your there to support your community or organization, you begin to realize everyone is there to support each other.
Increasing Self-confidence and Giving You a Sense of Purpose
When you pay it forward for your community or organization, you get a natural sense of accomplishment. You get a sense of pride and identity when you offer your service. As you keep feeling better about yourself, you get a positive view of your life and future goals. It pulls you towards fulfillment and doing something beyond yourself. You remain mentally stimulated and puts a little zest in your life. Therefore, as you help others, you will end up being less stressed and improving your overall health.