Volunteering is a virtue that enriches our society and brings us together as a community. Volunteering offers vital help to the people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community. Giving our time and effort to help others can feel wonderful. We get to see the immediate impact of our work. We watch a wall go up, we clear a field of litter, we enjoy the smiles of the people we help and work beside. While each of those seems like reason enough to volunteer, there are additional benefits of giving your time. Though most of the people see it as an activity that only benefits others, the truth is that the benefits of volunteering on the individual are far-reaching and can have a dramatic impact on your overall well-being, as well as your relationships with others and career prospects.
Connect with others
It is a well-known benefit that volunteering allows you to connect with your community and make it a better place. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. And volunteering is a two-way street: it can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.
Good for your mind and body
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. Moreover it combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn, protects you against depression. Thus volunteering makes you happy. Researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
Moreover volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Useful for career building
If you are considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet new people in the field. Even if you are not planning to change careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you can raise awareness for your favourite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills. Moreover just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training.
It boosts self-confidence
Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
It brings fun and fulfillment
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. By doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.