At the end of a day, when you volunteer, you know that what you did counted for something and that you've helped someone! But research has shown that there are more than a few tangible benefits, - read on.
Volunteering can prevent and end loneliness
Research indicates that close to 45 percent of people in the US admit to feeling lonely. On top of that, one in ten adults reports that they have no close friends. Loneliness and social isolation are two of the most severe epidemics in the world today. Volunteering can be the simplest way to reverse loneliness.
Volunteering builds bonds and creates friends
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
Volunteering promotes longevity
While everyone benefits from a little boost in physical health, long-term volunteers have longer lives, less disease, and better overall health. One report says that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.
Volunteering reduces risk of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease has become a frightening possibility for millions of individuals in the U.S. and globally. However, some research has shown that people who volunteer may be at lower risk of dementia.
Studies from the Journal of Gerontology indicate that social service improves elasticity in the brain. As volunteers age, they may be able to maintain the connections in their brains that often break down in Alzheimer’s patients. Any social interaction can help delay or prevent Alzheimer’s, and volunteering can be a wonderful way to do that.
We all know that helping others makes us happier. We love making someone else’s life a little bit easier. However, did you know that those feelings of happiness can prevent and relieve some of our most painful struggles? Studies show that improved mental health is just another of the many benefits of volunteering.
Volunteering leads to graceful aging
Older volunteers benefit the most from getting out of the house, engaging with others, and moving physically. Purpose and collaboration result in mental health improvements and a better outlook on life.
Studies indicate that senior volunteers experience the most physical benefit from their service, possibly because being active and engaged leads to more happiness.
Older people who volunteer often feel younger and chronically ill people may have fewer symptoms and pain. Some research has even found that volunteers may have less heart disease.
Volunteering adds fun to your years
Volunteering and freely giving your time, energy, and resources to people and causes around the world can create change on a global scale. It is incredible to think that one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else somewhere in the world. However, the best part, and often overlooked is that volunteering is just plain fun.
If you are ready to make friends, improve your mental and physical health, and maybe develop new skills along the way, start volunteering. You can change your life and the lives of others when you do. Don’t overlook the benefits of volunteering. Embrace them!
Volunteers volunteer because it makes a difference!
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