In this season of giving many people are spending time helping others. It’s a noble task to improve lives, whether it’s serving food in a soup kitchen, packing up holiday gifts and treats for less fortunate families, or teaching important life or professional skills. Adding to the value of helping others are the benefits of volunteering for you.
We know you’re not lending a hand for your own sake, but why not reap some advantages while you’re at it. Check out these benefits of volunteering for you:
Emotional Well-Being: Volunteering boosts emotional health because essentially helping others and seeing the effects of your efforts makes you happier. It also boosts self-esteem and confidence and reduces anxiety and depression.
Improves Your Body: Believe it or not, your body can get stronger and healthier through volunteer work, and we don’t mean physical labor. Studies show that volunteering improves BMI, cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, and it reduces risk of cardiovascular incidents.
Engaging Social Experiences: When you volunteer you meet new people you may not have known otherwise. Social interactions are good for your entire body and may forge new friendships.
Longevity: Studies show that people who volunteer on a regular basis tend to live longer, thanks to a host of mental, emotional and physical health benefits of volunteering. Need we say more?
Increases Gratefulness: No matter where you stand in life, volunteering can make you feel grateful for what you have. Whether that’s gratitude for family, shelter, food, freedom or the beautiful world in which we live, provoking feelings of gratitude is a tremendous benefit of volunteering.
It’s Fun: When your volunteer activities match your interests, you can have a blast while helping your community. In fact, volunteering can be a worthwhile hobby if you find something you enjoy.
Builds a Sense of Community: Feeling connected to your community is one of the great benefits of volunteering for you. You are making a difference to people, projects and places that improve your own community.
Gain Skills: Through volunteer positions, you can develop new skills and gain experience that you may not have had the opportunity to do otherwise. For instance, taking a leadership role in a community organization or volunteering as a communications liaison may help you build new expertise and proficiencies.
Career Advancement: Volunteering by teaching technical or professional talents can help advance your career. When potential employers see meaningful volunteer experience on resumes, candidates look more attractive.
Sources: Cure Joy, Forbes and The Balance