17 Jan The Benefits of Volunteering
We’re all accustomed to opening up the paper or turning on the television and seeing reports of bad news—fires, blizzards, mudslides, and on and on.
But every once in a while, an uplifting story sneaks into the mix. Recently, a newscaster reported on how some teenagers shoveled the driveway and porch of an older neighbor who hadn’t even asked for help. And they did it for free.
Their motivation? They simply wanted to do something that was kind for someone in need. The added benefit that they hadn’t expected: They felt good about themselves for helping out.
Volunteering is known to have positive effects on everyone, both the giver and receiver. People often say they “get more than they give” when they volunteer. It’s known to play a big role in creating a happier, healthier life.
Following are some of the reasons volunteering is beneficial:
- It reduces the risk of depression by helping you make new friends and building a support network of like-minded people.
- It boosts your self-esteem and helps you develop better communication skills.
- Volunteering helps you stay active and engaged with the world, and depending on what kind of volunteering you do, it could even help you stay more physically fit, including lowering your blood pressure!
- It exposes you to new experiences, giving you insight into the world around you and all the opportunities that are out there just waiting for your energy and dedication.
- It helps reduce stress and loneliness by giving you a feeling of purpose and connection.
- The symptoms of mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety and other conditions have been shown to decrease when people volunteer.
- Volunteering gives you perspective, helping you realize that there are others in the world struggling with issues, just like you.
- The bottom line: Volunteering is fun!