How Volunteering Can Impact Your Wellness
Without a doubt, volunteering makes a positive and lasting impact on any community. It gives you a chance to make an immeasurable difference in the lives of many people and is something anyone can do regardless of age, income, or the skills a person possesses. While the facts about the effects volunteering can have on a community are well known, the facts regarding how it can impact an individual’s wellbeing and wellness aren’t quite as widespread. Take a look below to see how volunteering positively impacts each aspect of your wellness.
Decreased Risk of Depression
The act of volunteering helps others lead healthier, more meaningful lives which can impact our mental health to a large degree. The connections you make while volunteering and the social interaction volunteering provides have been shown to decrease the risk of depression. The act of spreading goodwill and doing something selfless can also lead to a happier overall outlook on life.
Studies conducted by John Hopkins University discovered that volunteering increased participants’ brain function. Volunteering takes a lot of thought and coordination, which keeps your brain active. The benefits definitely don’t stop there for your body. Volunteering typically involves a lot of movement, which translates into physical activity. Any activity that gets you up and moving in a healthy manner will increase your physical wellness.
The physical aspects of volunteering reduce the effects of stress hormones in the body and help to eliminate any anxious and stressful feelings. In addition, the sense of meaning and fulfillment of the work you conduct helps to alleviate any stress due to increased dopamine levels in your system. Helping others releases chemicals in your brain that increase your happiness, so the more you help others and find joy and fulfillment in the work, the happier you will become!
Doing good for others naturally provides you with a sense of accomplishment. Your role in making an impact on someone’s life can also boost your sense of pride and even your identity. The better you feel about your accomplishments, the better your outlook on life and yourself will be.