The Health Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering can be a great way to help the community, share your talents, and provide service to those around you. Did you know it can also benefit your personal health?
More and more studies are showing that volunteering reduces depression, provides a sense of purpose, and increases physical activity. Any one of these factors leads to reduced stress and improved physical health.
- Reducing Depression: Volunteer work reduces depression by increasing physical activity and introducing the volunteer to others with similar beliefs and interests. By volunteering for your favorite local charity or providing community service for neighbors you increase the likelihood of developing friendships and creating a network of supportive individuals around you. This reduces depression by improving your social environment while simultaneously providing physical stimulation.
- Increasing Sense of Purpose: Many people look at the world and wonder what things could be like. The happiest of people step forward and begin to make a difference. They seek to change the world into what they want, rather than waiting to see what it becomes. This develops a sense of purpose, which increases as you continue to work towards goals. Looking to increase your sense of purpose? Sign up with a charity organization you believe in and become the good you want to see.
- Physical Activity: Science has long told us that physical exertion releases endorphins. Endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain, act as a natural painkiller and improve sleep quality. Many types of volunteer work require physical exertion, whether it is building a house, ladling soup, or running supplies from one table to the next. As physical activity increases, more endorphins are released, leading to an even greater reduction in stress and improvements in overall health.
Whether you are looking for a pick me up, trying to change the world, or simply helping someone in need volunteering can improve your overall health and give you a positive outlook on life. Feeling lethargic or stuck? Give volunteering a try!