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Psychological Benefits of Volunteering

Psychological Benefits of Volunteering

When it comes to providing service to our communities and lending a helping hand to others that may need it for no compensation, this is known as volunteering. Many people volunteer because they enjoy assisting their communities, they like to meet others that have similar principles and interests as them, it can help with advancing in school and in one’s career, and it can create a sense of fulfillment. Sometimes people only start volunteering because it is required in school, for example, but then find out that it is in fact highly rewarding, so it ends up being something they decide to pursue frequently and during their own time. Volunteering has also shown to improve the overall state of mental health, so if you are interested in these positive outcomes, definitely look into different organizations in your area to volunteer through. It should be noted that Southlake psychiatrist Dr. Messina & Associates is the best team in the region if you are concerned or struggling with anything related to your mental health, too. There are plenty of psychological benefits that come out of the act of volunteering, and today we will explore those benefits.

 

Volunteering Can Teach You New Skills

One psychological benefit that comes from volunteering includes having the opportunity to learn a new set of skills, which in turn can benefit multiple other areas of one’s life. Obtaining a new set of skills through volunteering has the potential to enrich one’s life in a multitude of ways, especially when it is directly helping others and the positive outcomes can be observed. Volunteering can teach someone how to counsel others, how to speak publicly, or even how to cook at a more advanced level. Any new skills that are acquired through volunteering can possibly be used in future jobs or other endeavors, which is a remarkable thing. Learning new skills is a phenomenal outcome of volunteering that undoubtedly has its benefits in the mental health space.

 

Volunteering Creates Bonds and Fulfillment

In life, it is so imperative to cultivate bonds with other individuals that have similar values and interests in life. When you begin volunteering with an organization you are passionate about, you are bound to meet others that feel similarly, too. These bonds and friendships that can come out of volunteering with others that are like-minded are highly beneficial to the mental state, as well as the fulfillment that can come out of volunteering with a great cause. When you are able to meet others that have similar interests and values as you do, deep and meaningful friendships are able to blossom in a beautiful way. Volunteering is also a fantastic way to branch out into your area if you have recently moved there or do not happen to know anyone else too well. Having others around that are similar in values is immensely beneficial to our mental health, and it is amazing that helping others is a way that can also bring others together. Many also love to volunteer due to the sole fact that it is helping others, but many happen to enjoy the powerful sense of fulfillment that occurs when volunteering for a cause that they deeply care about.

 

Volunteering Can Lower Stress

It has been shown that regularly volunteering your time can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. There is a large social aspect when it comes to volunteering, which massively reduces stress and goes hand-in-hand with the above point of creating meaningful bonds with others. Volunteering is not only a way to be useful and helpful to our communities, but it allows us to feel the important sense of productiveness and accomplishment that so many are constantly searching for. Helping others and giving back has been shown to directly impact the brain in such a positive way, so it is no wonder why these acts of service can considerably lower the everyday stress that so many people feel. On top of the diminished level of psychological stress that is experienced through regularly volunteering, the act of donating our time is also able to keep us in a better state of physical health, which is so clearly tied to our mental wellbeing, as well. 

 

Volunteering Creates an Overall Sense of Satisfaction

While volunteering is great because it is aiding others and the community, it is able to create an overall sense of satisfaction within oneself, which is a fantastic thing. So many of us are often looking for a way to improve our sense of self and purpose, and volunteering to help our communities is absolutely a way to achieve that. Studies have shown that consistent volunteering results in heightened levels of satisfaction in individuals, which in turn positively affects the state of mental health significantly. An improved sense of self is often obtained through volunteering with an organization that suits an individual’s interests well, resulting in an elevated perception of satisfaction and intrinsic pleasure.

Volunteering is a fantastic way to assist those in your community while also benefiting your own psychological state. Many people work for companies that they are not necessarily passionate about because it is able to pay the bills, but volunteering is certainly a definitive way to find the cause that you do happen to resonate with and be so enthusiastic about. Volunteering is able to bring people closer to those with similar interests and values, to create a heightened sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, it is able to extensively lower stress, and it is able to teach new and indispensable skills. Some might make the excuse that there is not enough time in the day to tack volunteering onto the schedule, but if the desire and enthusiasm are there, then there will always be a way. Helping others is one of the best and most essential things that we can do with our time, and it is also one of the best things that we can do for ourselves.

 

Getting Help

Dr. Messina & Associates specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults and continues to provide psychological and psychiatric services both in-person and online.

 

References:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_volunteering_can_help_your_mental_health

 

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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