Did you know that by helping others you are also helping yourself? The mental health advantages gained from giving back standalone and prove worth the investment. Through volunteering, you can boost your confidence, gain a sense of purpose, and even improve your intelligence. 

Part 2 of a 2-part series on the benefits of volunteering on your mind and body. Click here for Part 1.

Volunteering Benefits for Your Mind and Body

Boosts Confidence

A study out of the UK found volunteers credited their volunteer activities with boosts in self-esteem. While these volunteers may reside across the ocean, this human experience likely transfers to the States. Other qualities of volunteerism factor in as well. Volunteering…

– Teaches new skills.

– Grows your current skill set.

– Makes you feel useful.

– Gives you purpose.

– Enhances social skills.

All of these factors boost confidence. A sense of identity and pride along with a renewed perspective magnify the impact. Volunteering gives you a more positive view of yourself.

Births Purpose

Volunteering expands our worldview. Serving others gives meaning to our lives. It ignites our passion. Work does not have the same effect, according to studies. The humbling task of helping others voluntarily takes us outside ourselves and translates into purpose.

The purpose birthed through volunteerism reveals itself in studies of older adults. At a time when the loss of a sense of purpose is common, volunteering fills the gap. Volunteer activities help navigate major changes in identity, i.e. empty-nest syndrome or retirement. Other life transitions like high school and college graduation may benefit as well.

Grows Your Smarts

Research out of Johns Hopkins University suggests volunteerism does more than improve your mental health. It actually makes you smarter. What exactly did they find? Volunteering is linked to the following:

– Improved cognitive functioning.

– Changed brain activation patterns.

– Delayed or reversed declining brain function.

Furthermore, learning new skills required by these activities keeps the mind sharp. Volunteer opportunities which engage the mind are thought to boost these effects.

Volunteering Benefits Your Mind … Today and Tomorrow

Volunteering young increases the likelihood of volunteering later in life, according to researchers. While life satisfaction and the benefits of volunteering exist throughout the life cycle, studies indicate the increases are greater for older adults.

What does this mean? There is no better time to start than the present — no matter your age. For a long, healthy and happy future, the time to volunteer is now.

Feeling inspired? Contact us to find a non-profit that fits your passion and interest, and start reaping the benefits of volunteering today.