There aren’t many scenarios where everyone wins. That’s why volunteering is so special. When you volunteer, it’s a win-win situation. Your community benefits from your time, work, and skills. And you benefit, too. Making time to do good for others can have a significant impact on your well-being.
Whether it’s helping out at animal shelters, checking in on the elderly, restoring community buildings, or delivering meals to the homeless, volunteering can help to revitalize your mental health and open up several doors for your future. From creating connections to alleviating mental ailments, here’s why doing good is a such a great thing:
Create Meaningful Connections
Volunteering is all about immersing yourself in the community, and doing so allows you to meet new people while helping others. These connections will boost your social and relationship skills, and help in building a community for yourself. Research shows that healthy relationships and social connections not only bring us pleasure, they can impact our health for the better. Furthermore, when others feel the palpable joy that you get from giving back, they’ll be motivated to do the same — ultimately building a stronger group of those willing to help others.
Depression Decreases, Health Improves
Putting others first not only helps to relieve stress, sadness, and loneliness, it also can provide you with a newfound purpose that you may not have known before. Making a difference in someone’s life has profound rewards; you’ll know you did something impactful while also becoming more confident in yourself and your individual abilities to make a positive change in your community.
Similarly, studies have shown a direct correlation between altruism and other positive health outcomes, including weight loss in younger children and improved memory and stamina in older adults. Those who volunteer regularly have been found to take better care of themselves, make smarter lifestyle choices, and stay more active. This is in part due to the desire to care more for others.
Hone Skills and Learn New Ones
Volunteers are often empowered to step outside of their comfort zones and participate in a new activity. This provides a unique opportunity to embrace a new skill set that can help you become both a better leader and team player in your own career.
No matter where or how you decide to volunteer, doing good for others plays a significant role in your mental health and personal growth. A volunteering opportunity may be just what you need to unlock doors and discover possibilities for yourself that you never would’ve imagined.
This article was originally published on Philly Voice.