The Health Benefits of Volunteering

I have always loved to serve or volunteer in some capacity. I’m not sure why. Generally, I am pretty much an introverted homebody who would rather hide than venture out into the world. But there is something about serving others that brings me a lot of joy.

I started volunteering when my kids were little. Whether I was the schoolroom mom, AWANA leader, sports mom, or Cub Scouts mom (I think I just loved being a mom!), I truly enjoyed it all. I continued to serve even when my kids got older, mainly at church. I love babies, so if you need a baby holder I am there! Kids are precious, so if you need a Children’s Volunteer I am there! Adults are ok, but if they need something, I am there! Behind the scenes volunteering is even better for this introverted girl. Needed dishes washed? I signed up. Need copies made? I can help with that. Need an excel spreadsheet? You know I am the one to call.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to help others but it can be beneficial for your health too. It can reduce stress, help with depression and anxiety, lower your blood pressure and help you stay physically active. It can boost your self-confidence and give you a sense of purpose. When you serve others, your brain releases dopamine which gives you this happy high. You get the same feeling when you eat yummy food…oh, now I know why I like to volunteer…

To receive these health benefits, you will want to find a place to volunteer that makes you feel energized. If you aren’t doing something you enjoy, you can feel depleted or taken advantage of. I would recommend looking for ways to serve around something that you are passionate about. Do you love animals? Then maybe volunteer at an animal shelter. Do you have compassion for the homeless? Maybe serve at a homeless shelter. Are you not able to leave your house but still desire to serve? Some organizations need volunteers to call others.

I would also recommend using your past to help guide the direction of your volunteering. I believe that God does not allow our past hurts to go to waste. If you have gone through something hard, have learned from it, and have come out on the other side, see if you can help someone who is going through the same struggle.

We all have super busy lives and the thought of volunteering is just one more thing you probably feel you don’t have time for. You don’t have to commit to several hours a week for it to be beneficial for you. Research is showing that even 1 to 2 hours a week of volunteering will increase your health benefits and be helpful to an organization. The key is to finding something you enjoy and soon you will start seeing and feeling the benefits and hopefully find more joy, purpose, and happiness in your life as well as helping out an individual or organization that desperately needs you.

One thought on “The Health Benefits of Volunteering

  1. Serving others and volunteering is a “win-win” for everyone involved. Thanks for sharing the info about how serving benefits you body, mind and spirit.

    1 John 4:19 Our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first demonstrated to us.

    Liked by 1 person

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