5 Ways Volunteering Is Good For You

5 Ways Volunteering Is Good For You

With your busy as ever schedule, you might feel like you have no time to volunteer and helping out a non-profit organization, but there’s more to it than just sparing time to do good for others: volunteering is actually good for your own health and wellbeing. That’s right, besides being your good-deed for the day or month, volunteering indeed reaps you plenty of rewards, too.

Here are a few ways you’ll win when you share your time and effort.

Volunteering can lessen feelings of depression and stress
Being generous with your time and putting in the work to help others helps to boost your oxytocin levels, which can lift your mood and help cut down on feelings of anxiety. You may find you leave your volunteer gig having replaced your stressed-out state with feelings of calm and peace.

Volunteering will make you feel happier
Research has found that the more you volunteer, the happier you feel. The study, conducted by the London School of Economics, found that the chances of being “very happy” was seven percent greater for people who volunteered once a month versus those who didn’t volunteer at all. And those chances rose to 12 percent for those who volunteered every two to four weeks.

Volunteering can help you make friends
In this day and age where we’ve all got our heads buried in our smartphones, making friends in real life seems to have become harder and harder (and being so immersed into social media has been tied to depression and loneliness). Getting out to volunteer exposes you to like-minded people and provides the opportunity to develop new friendships.

Volunteering can ignite your passions and give you a sense of purpose
While you might toil away Monday to Friday at a full-time job you consider just a way to make a living, volunteering offers a unique opportunity to indulge in something you’re truly excited and passionate about, such as the arts, animals, or the environment, to name just a few. It can be fulfilling in ways that are different from your career, and give you a sense of purpose while inspiring your creative side.

Volunteering can get you fit
Your physical health can get a boost from your volunteering efforts. Perhaps you’re helping lead hikes for a nature conservancy or planting trees; that physical work is a workout in itself. Even for less physical volunteer jobs, the gig likely makes you walk more (and keeping regularly active, rather than long periods of being seated) is linked to living longer.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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