Is Volunteering Good For Your Health?

Is Volunteering Good For Your Health?

By: Loren Catotal | Contributor
  5345 reads

Did you know that volunteering is actually a great way to stay mentally healthy? According to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University, adults who regularly volunteered had a much lower blood pressure than others who don’t. They were also much less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension!  When we volunteer, most of the time, it requires some level of physical activity. Though it may not be quite as intense as working out at the gym or running for an hour, any level of physical activity is never a bad thing.

Besides that, a national survey by the United Health Group found that  “76% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months say that volunteering has made them feel healthier”. Not only that, findings also claim that it also drastically improved people’s self-esteem, mood, overall life satisfaction, independence and the quality of their interpersonal relationships.  In fact, many people claim that volunteering is a major component of living a calm and peaceful life.  When we reach out to other people and feel more connected with others, we decrease the likelihood of feeling lonely. Plus, do we not feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after we help others?

So, before you think that volunteering is more of a chore and perhaps something that you only ultimately need for the sake of your resume, think again!

When we volunteer, it is always a win-win situation. Not only are we helping other people by offering them our time and assistance, we also do ourselves a favour by improving our physical and mental health and more importantly, creating a sense of purpose in our lives. After all, it can get really tiresome when we only do things for ourselves. Think about it. Reaching out to people by giving them a few hours of our time might actually lift a huge weight off their shoulders. As Oscar Wilde once said: “the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”. I promise you: that huge, heart-warming “thank you” is worth it afterwards. You will get what you give.

Posted on July 21, 2014