To the surprise of few, volunteering has great benefits for those being helped, however, to the surprise of many volunteers actually experience greater health benefits than those receiving their support. Volunteering has numerous advantages that come to the volunteer, including strengthening social interactions with others, boosting self-confidence and self-worth, and helping you live longer. The best part? Anyone can do it!
Volunteering strengthens old relationships and grows new ones
By volunteering we increase our interactions with other people, forming lasting friendships with those around us. These friendships formed by helping around the community will likely be with people who have similar interests as you, which also helps strengthen the friendship and promotes goodwill towards the task at hand.
Help Guide reports that volunteering can also be “one of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships.” It states that by volunteering with people we already know, such as family and friends, we build up the relationship. Not only this, but volunteering as a family makes it more likely for children to go out and volunteer when they’re older.
Volunteering boosts self-esteem
Volunteering somewhere regularly gives us a sense of purpose we would normally get by holding a job or other title, making volunteering a must for retired people. The Corporation for National and Community Service reported that adults over 65 saw a boost in their physical and mental health, which was due to their “personal sense of accomplishment.”
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that volunteering gave retirees more life satisfaction than others who worked for pay gained from their work.
Volunteering gives individuals sense of pride and accomplishment, which boosts self-esteem and actually decreases feelings of loneliness and promotes happiness. These two factors help stave off depression by keeping you in contact with a solid support system, which helps relieve stress and depression.
Volunteers live longer
Additionally, Time reports that volunteering can actually help you live longer. Their article summarized a review of 40 studies which, again, showed a decrease in depression rates among volunteers along with a in increased feeling of satisfaction with their life.
Yet, the major stat Time reported was that volunteering reduced early mortality rates by 22%. Effectively showing that volunteering prolongs volunteers’ lives.
About Luke Scorziell
Mr. Scorziell created The Edge of Ideas when he was 15 years old. After a few years of blogging he found a passion for podcasting and now regularly has guests on his show, Bills with Luke Scorziell. Find out more about Luke and his unique journey. Feel free to send Luke a message below.
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