With our busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Volunteering improves your physical health and mental health too.
If you have ever volunteered, there will automatically be a little boost in your mood. When we volunteer, we may see some changes as a result of our efforts. Volunteering in different fields can help you in many ways. We all know that volunteering makes us feel good and the benefits of volunteering are countless.
Did you know, when we volunteer, we are improving our life and our health too? Here are 5 ways volunteering improves your physical health. Volunteering doesn’t only put you in a good mood, but can also boost your physical health.
Lower the Health Effects of Stress
Whether it’s a tough day at work or a conflict at home, even the most generous among us have some stress in their lives. Two national studies published in 2013 found that helping others can ease the impact that everyday stress has on your physical health. Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common commitment and interests—both of which have been shown to decrease depression and stress. By relishing your time spent in service to others, you’ll feel a sense of meaning and appreciation—both given and received—which can be calming.
Lower the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Volunteering is a sneaky way to get out of the house and step away from the screens for a bit. As a result, it could aid in weight loss and lower your cholesterol. A 2013 study showed that 10th graders who volunteered in an after-school program lost more weight and had improved cholesterol profiles compared to their non-volunteering peers. A study released by Johns Hopkins University in 2009 revealed that volunteers actually increased their brain functioning. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time.
Reduces the Risk of Drug Abuse
In 2015, The Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior published a literature review showing that teenagers and college students who volunteer tend to steer clear of alcohol and drugs, along with other “problem behaviors” like delinquency and dropping out of school.
Lower the Risk of Death
All those health boosts add up as you get older. In 2013, a study in the journal Psychology and Aging showed that volunteering reduced mortality risk in older adults by a quarter, even when the researchers accounted for how healthy they were before the study began.
Release of Happy Hormones
Many studies show that volunteers have lower rates of depression, higher levels of self-esteem, and greater functional ability than those who don’t volunteer. In fact, one 2005 study showed that volunteers who gave social support experienced greater benefits than the people receiving their support. When we give to others without expecting anything in return, our brains release dopamine, serotonin, and other hormones that make you feel warm and tingly inside.
If you are ready to make friends, improve your physical and mental health, and maybe develop new skills along the way, start volunteering. You can change your life and the lives of others when you do. Don’t overlook the benefits of volunteering, embrace them!
Volunteering improves your physical health and keeps you happy! Start volunteering and make your life better.