Studies show that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened, and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases. This is because helping someone else interrupts tension-producing patterns and replaces it with a sense of purpose, positive emotions, and high confidence levels.
In addition to the physical and mental rewards, volunteering can promote personal growth and self-esteem, and it can build comradery and everlasting friendships, all while helping your community and others in need.
As a matter of fact, many businesses, and mission-driven organizations, are successful only if they maintain a strong volunteer workforce. Places like museums, social service organizations, and faith-based organizations many times rely more on volunteers than paid workers to meet their goals and fulfill their mission.
So where do you start in your volunteering journey? There are many resources right in your local community. An informative place to start is your local communities’ website, where events or volunteering “job posts” are often listed. Take a look to see if any of those are of interest to you.
Perhaps you have a love for animals, or a passion for health care or assisting the elderly in your community. Contacting local animal shelters, hospital or hospice organizations in your area are a great way to offer your time or services. Perhaps you have a specific skill you can provide, or perhaps you want to try your hand at something new? Whether you can help out often, only once in awhile, or are only interested in helping at a certain event, every effort adds value and will better your community. Generally, there is an application process or some type of instruction or on-boarding process before your volunteering begins.
So improve your own health while giving back to your community! Just a small effort by us could make a huge difference in someone’s life.