When we spotted this article on Huffington Post about even more benefits of volunteering, we knew we had to share them with Global Moms everywhere! Author Kathy Gottberg, writer of SMART Living 365.com, notes that while volunteer time involves giving time, energy, and sometimes even money, “it is always meaningful and gratifying.”
See if you can relate to these benefits of compassionate action:
More happiness It’s a chemical reaction! Helping others causes the brain to release chemicals like dopamine and possibly serotonin, leading to feeling happy.
Less stress Another chemical released when we help others, oxytocin, buffers stress and leads to a sense of tranquility.
Pain relief Volunteering can take our mind off of pain as we focus on others’ needs.
Living longer Studies show that as little as 25 hours per year of volunteering can lead to a longer life.
Lower blood pressure Lower stress, and the subsequent effects of being active while being altruistic, can lead to less hypertension.
Drop in depression Mild depression can be kept at bay through the social support system and friendships gained through volunteer opportunities.
Career benefits Pursuing anything that makes you feel more purpose in your life can lead to a happiness and confidence that extends to all areas of life, including work.
Take Action Challenge
We want to hear from YOU! How do you volunteer? What benefits have you noticed in your life from volunteering? What are your favorite causes and organizations to volunteer with? Check the links in the article for further information about the scientific research behind how volunteering helps our physical and emotional well-being.