Volunteering is a phenomenon that many people can’t really justify or explain. Why would you, a regular human being want to help another human being? Wouldn’t it seem counterproductive to help others, and waste your time doing so, when you could be focusing on spending your time advancing your career or personal position in life?
Studies on Volunteering
Well, studies have showed that volunteering, although as strange as it may be, can help reduce stress and other health, mental, and social factors plaguing your life.
Stephanie Watson from Harvard Women’s Health Watch says “Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression… volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health… evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.”
Some Reasons Why People Donate
Some people may donate their time or money for religious reasons, because they fear God, or some people live with principles, ingrained into them from childhood through parenting that you should treat others the same way you want to be treated too. No matter what the purpose of you volunteering may be, there are certain positive outcomes that may occur through being a volunteer.
Here is a list of some great factors volunteering can have on you.
Studies have shown that volunteering can:
- Help you reduce high blood pressure, or even avoid having it all together (there is no complete evidence supporting this statement, but the results are adequately related to the topic).
- Volunteering can help encourage physical activity, meaning you may get some exercise done while volunteering freely.
- It can help reduce stress. Rodlescia Sneed, a doctoral candidate in social and health psychology at Carnegie Mellon University says “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked to health outcomes.”
- Tutoring, reading, and teaching volunteer work can help you keep a sharp and creative mind.
- Volunteering counteracts, stress, anger, depression and loneliness. Being able to have social contact with others, who are in the mood to help others and to stay optimistic in their work can have a positive psychological effect on you. Having meaning connection to others who support the same emotions as you do, can have a good effect on your psyche.
- Help others feel good and be happy can help you feel happy too. Being around others can help you created a positive psyche on you, but making others feel good about themselves or happy about themselves can have the same effect on you too.
- It builds self-confidence and a purpose to be alive. Being able to bring a positive change to others can create a sense of self identity. Being able to relate to others, and to represent a positive cause could give you a more meaningful will to live your life. If you live your life with a purpose, you are more inclined to walk out of your home with more self-esteem.
- Volunteering can help you develop new skills and techniques. Skills may be hard to come by, but being able to develop yourself to better society is like killing two birds with one stone. Not only do you gain a new skill, such as cooking, you can use this skill to help you and society.
How you should perceive volunteering
For whatever reason, or cause you may have for volunteering, know that volunteering doesn’t only bring a positive outcome to you and your life. But it helps bring a positive outcome to others, including the whole world. You’ll be surprised how much volunteering can cheer up your life.