Feb 7, 2024 | Mental Health

Positive Benefits of Volunteering on Mental Health

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If you have been following our blog, you’ll know we are huge advocates of mental health, inclusion, and understanding in the workplace. However, another aspect we care about is giving back to the community. There are many benefits of volunteering that can impact one’s mental health. Today, we would like to talk about some of those and why you should consider adding volunteering to your 2024. 

Increased sense of purpose 

One of the greatest benefits of volunteering is the sense of fulfillment and purpose it offers. By acting for something you feel passionate about and giving back to others, you will be filled with pride. Contributing to causes and communities that you care about, increasing your sense of purpose.  Further, by working towards a specific goal, you can positively impact your own mental well-being by giving back. 

Social connection 

For those who struggle with mental health issues, isolation often plays a key role in furthering feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress, and depression. When you can work with others, you surround yourself with individuals who share similar values and interests. This can lead to a feeling of community, which will help increase social interaction, reduce feelings of loneliness and improve mental health.  

Having a strong support network is also beneficial to maintaining good mental health. So, in meeting like-minded people, you can build a group of individuals who can provide help, advice or guidance in times of need. 

Additionally, while you are busy volunteering, you offer your brain a distraction, which can be highly beneficial for your well-being. 

“Giving really does make you feel good. Your body releases endorphins which Harvard Health calls the “brain’s natural pain reliever” when you volunteer or do something you enjoy. Endorphins create a sense of well-being. Sometimes people call what you’re feeling a “helper’s high.”

verywell mind 

Hone new skills 

Volunteering is an excellent way to discover, learn, or enhance existing skills. Whether it’s something you have never done before, or something you have done several times, the opportunity to hone and finesse your skill set is advantageous to both your personal and professional life. In terms self-growth, applying new and unique skills is a great way to stimulate your brain and grow as a human being.  

Physical health benefits 

Just as we want to take care of our mental health, our physical health is also important. In some instances, volunteering offers the opportunity to incorporate physical activities which can have a positive impact on a person’s physical well-being. According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering can reduce stress levels, which “further decreases the risk of several physical and mental health problems, such has heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety and general illness. In addition, people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not.” 

It’s important to find volunteer opportunities that align with your interests and values. Therefore, take some time to research and find out about those available in your community, and choose one that you know will have a positive impact on your mental health.  

We hope that we have inspired you to get involved in your community, in some way! Remember, small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of others, as well as your own.  

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