Volunteering is a great way to help your community, whether it’s helping out the local animal shelter or feeding the hungry at your local food bank. Volunteering is something that people should be doing more often, because it is a great way to give back, while also helping out those less fortunate. Another reason that you should volunteer is because it has a lot of health benefits associated with it, which people don’t seem to really know about. As someone who volunteers regularly, here are four surprising health benefits of volunteering I have experienced, which can help you while you help others.
Volunteering is a great way to decrease depression, especially if you are someone who doesn’t have a great support system at home. A lot of people become depressed because they don’t have friends or family, and they are often isolated from people in their community. When you are volunteering, you are around other people, often talking and laughing, which helps decrease depression symptoms. You may not even realize you are depressed, but being isolated from others is a clear indicator that you are suffering from some form of depression. If you volunteer at the same place long enough, you find out that you have people you can talk to in times of need, such as during a stressful or sad situation, and these people are there to support you.
Helps You Stay Active
Volunteering is also a great way for you to stay active, because a lot of volunteering involves packing boxes or moving things or people, and that is very beneficial for your heart. You might not think what you are doing is exercise, but you will find that even just walking around for a few hours during your time there makes you feel better. I actually volunteered at a local animal shelter, which was great because I walked the dogs and cleaned cages, which all were ways to stay active. If you are volunteering doing something you love, you may not even notice that you are exerting physical energy, so it’s much better than just working out because you enjoy it. This benefit is especially good for older people, since they might not be working anymore or maybe can’t exercise due to health issues.
Makes You Feel Internally Satisfied
When you volunteer, you feel this satisfaction out of what you are doing, because you know you are helping other people. When you feel this satisfaction, your mental and physical health improves, and you just feel better overall. I know that when I volunteered, I felt better mentally because I knew I was giving to someone else, and that my skills were being utilized to improve society on some level. In order to stay healthy, you have to have a balance of mind and body, and this is something that volunteering provides. I also found that volunteering helped give me a purpose, especially when I was younger and had no clue what my place was in this world, and that also gives you a feeling of self-worth.
I was always someone that never enjoyed being around new people, and I always felt awkward in new social situations, and that lead to a lot of anxiety in public. When you start volunteering, you find new ways to communicate with other people, and this helps decrease your anxiety levels. Personally, it helped me find ways to interact with others in social situations, and helped me build confidence around others. If you are anti-social then you will find that volunteering helps you get over your worries and anxieties related to being around new people. Volunteering also will help you relieve anxiety you might be experiencing in your own life, since you are focused on helping other people, especially if you have a rough home life. You also might start talking to some of the people you are volunteering with, which can help you find friends to talk to about your troubles.