Modern life seems so busy that one might wonder how volunteering can fit into the picture. With demanding jobs, active social lives, family responsibilities, and a thousand other activities in between, there’s little time left to breathe, let alone volunteer. You may not realize all the benefits of volunteering. Not only for those who receive help but also for those who offer their time, energy, and resources to different causes. The value of giving back to society is not lost, even if we’re living in a day and age when individualism seems to be the norm. Getting involved in volunteer work has the power to change your life and the lives of the people around you, so everyone has something to win from it, just like in timebanking.
Obviously, volunteering is about helping those in need. There are many people in vulnerable or critical situations whose lives can be significantly improved by your actions, as small as they might be. But by becoming a volunteer, you also invest in self-growth and your personal wellbeing, so you improve the quality of your life. There’s a lot to gain from volunteering, but if you’re still on the fence about it, here are some of the most notable benefits to consider.
It keeps you healthy
We all know that helping others makes you feel good. Not many people are aware that volunteering can do much more than that since it has a positive impact on both mental and physical health.
- It keeps stress and anxiety at bay – Stress and anxiety have become common issues in today’s busy society, and many people lead a constant fight against them. While there are a number of methods that have proven effective in combating stress and anxiety, few people ever think of volunteering as a remedy for it. But the relation is quite obvious. When you create a meaningful connection with others through volunteering, your mood is significantly improved, and your stress and anxiety levels are kept in check.
- It wards off depression – Similarly, volunteering can help ward off depression by keeping you in regular contact with others and giving you a sense of purpose. Being involved in an activity that brings you closer to other people and being part of a community gives you a sense of belonging and security to protect you against depression.
- It boosts self-esteem – when you help others and make a positive difference in the world, it’s natural to feel good about yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. This can help a lot with your self-esteem, and it will make you feel more confident. You’ll also have a more positive outlook on life in general.
- It supports physical health – a lot of volunteering jobs keep you physically active. This means you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a physically fit person such as stronger bones and muscles, better weight management, reduced risk of disease, improved energy levels, etc.
- It promotes longevity – One thing leads to another. Better physical and mental health translates into increased life expectancy. So, if you want to age gracefully and live a long and fulfilling life, volunteering can help.
It can help you in your career path
Volunteering might not get you any money, but it can sure help you in your career. Volunteering work will look great on your resume and can make you stand out from the crowd. Employers always look for people who have that extra something to differentiate them from others, and volunteering can say that about you. It sends out the message that you’re a self-motivated and active individual who’s not afraid to take chances and is eager to make a change.
You can also gain new knowledge and abilities by volunteering, discovering new passions, and practicing skills that will help you later in your career. For example, if you’re interested in a career in the medical field, volunteering as an EMT can be a good starting point as it can help you gain real-life experience. EMT Training Brooklyn courses can help you earn your certification, and then you can start volunteering as an EMT for different organizations and institutions.
It keeps you connected
When you start working as a volunteer, you’re going to become deeply involved in the life of the community you’re giving back to. You’ll see how your actions will impact the lives of those in the community, and that will create a strong bond and a sense of profound connection with the people who surround you. If you’ve never felt like you belong somewhere, the benefits of volunteering can definitely make you feel like you’ve found a home.
Working as a volunteer will also help you meet new people and cultivate new friendships. If you’re the outgoing type, this will help you find people with whom you share a common goal and increase your circle of friends. But if you’re a bit of an introvert, the benefits of volunteering can help you come out of your shell and work on your social skills. Once you start interacting with others, it will be much easier to build new relationships and become more confident and comfortable around people.
It makes you feel fulfilled
When it comes to volunteering, we usually focus on its practical aspects, how you can contribute to a cause, and make the world a better place. But volunteer work can be good for your soul as well. It can lead you on a self-discovery journey and help you figure out what you expect from yourself and what you want from life. While you volunteer, you can learn a lot about yourself and others, gain a new perspective on the world, and expand your horizons.
It can also be a way to escape everyday routine and add a bit of excitement to your life. Doing something that is in no way related to your profession can provide a breath of fresh air and a dose of newness that can make you feel more relaxed and fulfilled at the same time. All these benefits apply to young people that volunteer. Encourage your teenagers to volunteer in their local community.
Featured Photo by ray sangga kusuma on Unsplash