Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Benefits of Volunteering


You know that good feeling you get when you help someone?  The act can be anything from something small and short term or assisting on a regular basis. Have you thought about the long-term benefits and how this feeling enhances mental and physical health as well?
Volunteering and helping others has been shown by research to create a sense of personal happiness.  This positive feeling impacts many other aspects of the volunteer’s life as well. 

Just knowing that you can help someone in need boosts self-confidence.  Increased positive image carries though in social situations, job performance, and family life. A happier individual is more energetic and productive.

Mental stimulation, by keeping the mind focused on task, helps with thought awareness.  Less thoughts are directed to negative situations or circumstances when more involved in a current situation while helping others.  When someone is working to help another individual, their mind is often occupied with the task at hand and less on negative or wandering, unhealthy thoughts.

 As a result from positive mindset, symptoms of depression can also decrease.  While volunteering, there are opportunities to socialize and this interaction generates positive energy.  Additional opportunities from socialization include making contacts and building relationships that benefit current or future careers, making friends with similar interests, and create sense of belonging.

 Finally, as the volunteer stays active, this benefits physical health. Depending on the type of activity, there is still some level of movement.  In turn, assisting others can cause the volunteer to take a closer look at personal health and the choices they make in an effort to make positive changes for themselves. 

 Volunteering is a win-win situation for everyone.  It can be done in as little as a few hours a week or on a regular basis.  There are many places that look for volunteers and they are always willing to accept any amount of time someone can provide; just think of the positive impact!

Volunteering and it's Surprising Benefits, retrieved September 15, 2015 from

Written by: Joyce Rode, MA


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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