What are the benefits of volunteering?
A person can have their ears talked off about the benefits of volunteering with this organization or that organization. Volunteers provide much-needed labor, new energy, fresh ideas, and networking for organizations across the globe so it is no wonder that organizations are extremely aware of how much their volunteers means to their very existence. But volunteering doesn’t just help the organizations. Sure many people volunteer to make a difference and because it makes them feel good about themselves, but volunteering provides several very real benefits to the health and lives of those who volunteer.
Benefit One: Staying social and meeting new people
It is a very easy thing to become comfortable with select friends or groups of people, but there are always more people in your community for you to meet and interact with. Volunteering provides volunteers with opportunities to meet new people and develop friendships through a shared activity. People can meet others who share certain passions or share their interest in select community issues. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and exposes you to new ideas and new places.
Benefit Two: Can help you live longer and better
Over the last two decades, researchers have been examining the impacts of volunteering on health. In addition to volunteers being less likely to experience depression thanks to the social and mental impact of volunteering it has also been determined that volunteering relieves stress and anxiety which negatively impact a person’s health. Research also reveals that volunteering
lessen the symptoms of chronic pain and heart disease. When comparing the mortality rate of volunteers to non-volunteers it has been determined that volunteers are more likely to live longer, even when considering factors like the health, socioeconomic status, marital status, gender and ethnicity of the participants.
Benefit Three: Volunteering boosts your satisfaction
Alright, this one was touched on in the introduction, but volunteering makes a person feel better about themselves and the world in general. Volunteering allows a person to do good for others which gives a sense of accomplishment and can give a sense of pride. The better a person feels about themselves and the more positive their sense of identity the more likely they are to have a positive view of their life and goals.
Benefit Four: It’s fun if you let it be
With so many different organizations looking for volunteers you can find a position that feeds your passion or allows you to spend time doing something that you enjoy for the benefit of others. Volunteering breaks up the day to day routine and lets you get out and do something different. It all depends on the position and you’re the one who makes that choice so when you’re looking for a volunteer position be sure to sign up something that lets you do something you love, something new or that you can do with your friends.
Bottom line volunteering is good for you. So start thinking about what you’d like to do more, learn more about or pick one of your passions. Think about if you’d like to work with adults, children, animals or remotely from home. Decide if you want to be a part of a team? Ask yourself how public a role you want, how much time you are willing to commit and how much responsibility do you want to take on. Consider what skills you can bring as a volunteer, what you’d like to learn and what causes are most important to you. Basing your volunteer position on these answers will help you get the most from your experience while benefiting others.