Volunteer, It's good for your health!

By Staff Writer

The impact of volunteering can go far beyond just helping your community, although that is great too. Volunteerism's best-kept secret is that it's good for you!  It's true, not only will it set a great example, it'll help boost your self-esteem, expand your connections, make you feel good, give you purpose, fight off stress, and can help you live a longer life!

Boosts self-esteem

Volunteering helps build a safety net when you go through tough times.  Your strong social network of friends will be able to step in and help out when you need it most.  And, when you volunteer, you become part of someone else’s safety net as well.

Expands your connections

You connect through others through volunteering.  You gain new friends through shared interests.  You larger social network gives you more resources at your fingertips, and leads to better physical, mental-emotional health!

Makes you feel good

Volunteering just makes you happy.  When you give your time to others you give yourself a sense of accomplishment.

Gives you purpose

As we get older, especially when we retire, we can become more isolated.  Volunteering adds a sense of purpose to your life.  No matter who you are, there are plenty of ways to continue to give your life new meaning by helping others.

Fights off stress

The “happiness effect” of volunteering is that you become happier the more you volunteer.  When you help others, your body releases dopamine in the brain, which has a positive effect on how you feel.  Volunteers also experience a lower level of depression.

Live a longer life

Volunteering also has effects on your physical well-being.  Volunteers experience greater longevity and less frequency of heart disease. Social interaction can significantly reduce the progress of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. 

So, there you go—live a little!  Volunteering gives you the opportunity to explore new skills and interests that you may not have had an opportunity to enjoy. You can broaden your horizons while helping others at the same time! 

Want to help others, but finding it hard to cope with your own feelings or situation?  Best Care EAP counselors are here to help.   

To schedule your confidential appointment, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.

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