Given how beneficial volunteering is for the community, it is easy to forget that many additional benefits come alongside this action. When a person offers up their time and energy, they’re provided with unique opportunities, given a chance to connect with others, and so much more.
One of those surprise advantages would be the psychological benefit of volunteering. Many studies have been done on this subject, with experts all coming to the same conclusion: those who want to take control of their mental health should consider volunteering.
Volunteering and Happiness
Causation and correlation can be difficult to sort out at times. For example, are people who volunteer becoming happier, or are they volunteering because they are happy? Most likely, in this case, it is a little bit of both.
Some experts believe that volunteering can give a person a healthy boost – even those struggling to feel happy. The Journal of Happiness Studies looked at 70,000 subjects and found that those who volunteered reported feeling happier. The simple truth is that people actively enjoy helping others – it makes us feel good.
Sometimes a person needs a little experience in the world to feel more confident. Volunteering can give a person all the expertise they could dream of – along with a handful of new skillsets. That can allow a person to go out into the world with newfound confidence.
Counteracts the Negatives
Many volunteer opportunities help people connect with the world – with people, animals, and the environment. This connection helps to counter stress, anger, and even anxiety. This is doubly true for volunteers that opt to work with animals. Though it is important to note that nothing is perfect; what works for one person may not work for another.
A Sense of Purpose
One of the most significant side effects of volunteering is giving people a sense of purpose. People crave this feeling, as they want to feel like they belong in the world and are making a difference in it. Volunteering gives people a healthy and positive way to do precisely that.
Experts are now recommending volunteer activities to retired seniors who are at a loss of what to do with their time. It helps to keep their minds busy while providing them with vital connections to the world.