Guest Post by Isabel William
Anyone who’s ever tried volunteering can confirm that there are numerous benefits from it. Most of all, volunteering gives you a unique opportunity to help people in need, your community and worthwhile causes, but it also has personal benefits for you as well – it can help you make friends, develop your connections within the community and wider, boost your self-confidence and motivation and help you learn new skills.
Moreover, helping others is also beneficial to both mental and physical health as it helps shift your focus from work and stress to activities that offer a deeper sense of value and purpose. Volunteering can help you reduce stress, fight depression, stay mentally stimulated and physically active.
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of devoting too much time out of your busy schedule to volunteering project, you can start by taking small steps towards helping others and you’ll notice instantly that your own health and happiness are improving.
It gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment
Surely the primary motivation for volunteering is the greater good of others, but it’s also something that will help you feel good about yourself. It will give you a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment when you see that your actions contribute to someone else’s well-being. This feeling will stick with you and can be greatly beneficial in other aspects of your life, like your job and your family.
Helping others gives you something meaningful to do and allows you to focus your energy on others instead of on yourself and your problems. Once you see that you’re making a difference and happiness on other people’s faces, you’ll realize how empowering it is.
It boosts your self-confidence
Volunteering is especially beneficial for younger generations as it helps them build up their confidence and self-esteem through learning and acquiring new skills. Volunteering is a rewarding activity that doesn’t bring money but helps the young feel more confident about their accomplishments as their work is valued and produces direct results. This lifts their mood and encourages them to keep doing their best.
It can help your career
Doing volunteering work will motivate and inspire you to work harder and as you’ll be in contact with a lot of people on a daily basis, you’ll develop many skills, such as communication, teamwork and project planning. You will also improve your people skills and how to manage problems and conflicts that may arise. These are all valuable skills that you can take back to your office and use them in your everyday career.
If you’re an empath and you deeply feel the emotions of others and you have a strong urge to help them, there are typical professions that can help you use your gift and connect to others on a higher emotional level, such as a nurse, psychologist, social worker, guidance counsellor or teacher. A lot of people working in these fields volunteer too without jeopardizing their daily work, teachers especially as they have the opportunity to change a person’s life by offering them motivation and support. When it comes to managing their busy schedule, they can rely on school management software to help them have better control of their responsibilities, documents and students’ cases.
It improves your mental health
The act of giving and doing something to others will make you a happier person. According to studies, getting out of your office for a few hours and devoting your time to making others feel better is great for your mental health. Taking a break from work and getting involved in your community doing work for a worthy cause can help you avoid isolation, loneliness and depression. It will keep you in touch with others who share your interests, you will develop a firm support system, your stress and anxiety levels will drop and your overall mood and well-being will improve.
….and physical health
Although the accent is mostly put on mental health, quite surprisingly, volunteering also benefits your physical health as well. Latest research results show that people who spend their free time helping others will benefit from lower blood pressure and a longer life expectancy. Volunteers, in general, have a 63% lower mortality rate and are less likely to develop hypertension that is among the leading causes of stroke, heart disease and premature death.
Doing volunteering work will expose you to new situations, people and different environment than the ones you’re used to and this fact alone is a benefit in itself as it will drag you out of your comfort zone and help you learn new things and become a healthier and better person. Seeing how others live and the problems they have will give you a more complete perspective of the world and the social bonds you create during the volunteering work will contribute to your improved sense of confidence and help you feel accepted and valued.
Isabel William is consultant by day and a blogger by night and Mom to twins 24/7. Area of interest includes education, well being, mental health, as well as self-improvement. Considered by her peers a lifetime educator, whose passion is love for writing and helping people, parenting, education and science.