How Volunteering Improves Your Mental Health?
Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the mental benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs.
Benefits of volunteering:
Teach You New Skills
The work that volunteers provide is essential to everyday activities, which gives volunteers a sense of purpose, especially when volunteering in the areas they find meaningful. Older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction as well as self-esteem.
Nurture new and existing relationships
Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests. The best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to participate in a shared activity. Dedicating time as a volunteer helps you expand social network and practice social skills with others.
Whether you are working with adults, children or pets, a meaningful connection can take your mind off your worries when you put your attention on someone or something else. The richer the experience, the more you feel satisfied with giving of your time and talents, and that results in improved mood and less stress.
Some volunteering activities require learning new skills. Gaining a new ability coupled with being in an unfamiliar environment can provide mental stimulation that you would otherwise not experience. Also, in growing your skill set to make a difference for others, you can gain a sense of pride and identity, which can lead to having a more positive view of oneself.
Increases physical activity
Volunteering is the best way to stay physically active and healthy. Whether you’re volunteering outdoors to conserve the environment, visiting people at different locations or filling care packages for people in need, doing good for the community can come with physical health benefits. Making the effort to head out into the community has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease, and even reduce the risk of premature death
Dr. Carla specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults and continues to provide psychological and psychiatric services both in-person and online. Contact her and benefit from a free consultation!