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Helping People by Volunteering

By Luci Fardo

Volunteers make a huge difference in people's lives. This is something that makes a tremendous difference in our world. Your actions no matter how big or small make a difference in people's lives. Did you know that when you volunteer that you also make yourself healthier?

Research shows that by volunteering you improve your own physical and mental health. Volunteer activities help keep people moving and thinking. Research has shown that older adults who volunteer report having lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Volunteering also reduces stress and increases positive feelings by releasing dopamine. It also can lead to a feeling of meaning in your life from both given and received. This leads to a stress-reducing affect. Reduced stress further decreases the risk of physical and mental health problems, ranging from heart disease, anxiety and depression. People who volunteer have lower mortality rates.

Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build relationships and support systems. This is a great way to make new friends or strengthen existing relationships if you volunteer with a friend or loved-one.

In many cases volunteers come from different backgrounds. This can help you to expand your social network and to practice different social skills with others. You learn to work with others to complete the mission or common goal.

Volunteering also provides purpose and teaches the volunteer new skills. The work that volunteers provide can be in areas that they may not have been exposed to. Volunteers may learn craft skills, learn skills taking care of animals, or technicals support sometimes. You never know you may find your purpose in live in the most unexpected places.

Would you like to become a volunteer? There are so many places to volunteer. Check with local nonprofit organizations, schools, churches, hospitals, or pet shelters near you.


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