6 Healthy Advantages of Volunteering

6 Healthy Advantages of Volunteering

At this point, you’ve probably heard all of the pros about volunteering. You can make a difference in the community, you can impact future generations, you can simply brighten someone else’s day, and so on and so forth. There are no limits to all of the positives that go hand-in-hand with an altruistic lifestyle. 

But, one benefit in particular which often gets overlooked is how volunteering affects you. Sure, you know volunteering has a positive influence (make friends, build connections, gain experiences, etc.), but did you know that it can actually assist your health? If you don’t believe us, check out these six healthy advantages of volunteering.

1. Volunteering boosts self-esteem.
Possibly the greatest asset to volunteering is its obvious effects on mental health, particularly an individual’s self-esteem. Doing good for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment, pride and new identity. Not to mention, building a group of encouraging individuals around you gives you a strong safety net of support, which helps boost your overall self-esteem and mental well-being.

2. Volunteering decreases stress.
Nothing helps relieve stress better than a meaningful connection with another person or animal. Studies have often demonstrated the “Happiness Effect” of volunteering. When we give our time to others, our brains release the chemical dopamine, which influences our moods and helps lower stress levels. So if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, chances are volunteering for a cause can help calm your nerves.

3. Volunteering reduces depression.
Overtime, these lower stress levels can also reduce rates of depression found in volunteers. Getting involved in a community of volunteers fosters social interaction and increases your support system based on common commitment and interests—both of which have been shown to decrease rates of depression. While volunteering definitely isn’t a cure for depression, it is a great element to keep in mind if your mental health is struggling.

4. Volunteering keeps you active.
Of course, volunteering can even influence your physical health. Particularly for people who find themselves aging faster than anticipated, volunteering gives you a physical outlet for activity. It gets you out of the house and doing something active, even if it’s simply walking door to door and asking for donations. If you really want to boost your health, connect with a local nonprofit and see what volunteering opportunities they have that require physical activity.

5. Volunteering provides purpose.
No matter which organization, cause or charity you choose to get involved with, volunteering plays an essential role in the well-being of your community. This kind of responsibility gives volunteers a genuine sense of purpose for their lives. With a newfound purpose, volunteers can experience better emotional and mental health as they strive towards something worthwhile. If you feel lost or confused, then volunteering could be the key to find your way out.

6. Volunteering promotes longevity.
One study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that, “...individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not, even when controlling for age, gender and physical health.” With all of its benefits on your physical, mental and emotional health, it’s no wonder that volunteering can even help you to live longer. By stepping outside of yourself and supporting someone else, you can encounter even more benefits.

You already know all of the benefits volunteering has on others in the community. However, volunteering can also have significant advantages for your health. If you want to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally, then volunteering could be the perfect step. Give it a try and see how your life improves.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum is a great resource for LES. They proactively provide workshops to address issues in today's work environment and customized on-site training. Their staff has been helpful and effective.”
    - Julie Panko Haberman, supervisor, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

Powered by Firespring