Volunteering is something that many people think that they would like to do at some point during their lives, but it is often an idea that gets shelved as people have so many other time commitments these days. Of course, volunteering is for other people, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t offer a whole range of benefits to you as well, both emotionally and professionally. So, if this is an idea that has been in the back of your mind for some time, here are just a few reasons why you may decide it is time to volunteer today.
Community and Bonding
To start off with, volunteering makes you an active member of your community and you are helping to make the area in which you live a better place. Not only this, you can improve your own social circle as you are doing something that helps to bring people together. Who knows where the connections that you make could bring you at some point in the future? And if you are volunteering with people who don’t have all that much close interaction with others, it is likely that you will be having a hugely positive effect on their lives.
Tackle Loneliness Directly
According to many studies, loneliness is an issue that affects a very high percentage of people in the developed world. We just talked about helping out others who feel lonely, but if you do as well, volunteering could well be the answer. Social interaction tends to mean an improvement is both physical and mental health. Also, better brain functioning and a reduced risk of depression and anxiety are also linked to socialising as well.
Happiness and a Sense of Wellbeing
The eternal quest for happiness is a puzzle that many people are still trying to solve, but one of the major missing pieces could well be volunteering. If you feel that you are making a genuine difference to someone else’s life, this can provide you with an enormously rewarding feeling. One of the major things that people are looking for in life is a sense of purpose, which volunteering can certainly help out with in a big way.
Self-Esteem and Confidence
Closely linked to the last issue we were talking about, self-esteem and confidence are two things that people wish they had a lot more of. As well as boosting your own supplies of these two things, you could also be helping other people to do the same. Ultimately, volunteering often puts you in direct contact with some of the most vulnerable people in life. People in this position in life are often low on self-esteem and confidence so if you can help them out in this regard, you are doing something which is truly wonderful.
You Can Develop a New Passion
You may have a particular area that you are interested in becoming involved in like healthcare administration and volunteering or you may be unsure. Either way, volunteering can help you to develop a new passion in life that you never knew you had. This is important in giving you something to focus on and develop over time. And you never know what other areas of your life the skills you learn could have an effect on.
Physical Health Benefits
A large number of volunteer activities are quite physical – you are usually at least on your feet while you are doing them even if they are not completely exhausting. More and more people are not getting the amount of exercise that they need on a regular basis and this is where volunteering could provide a major helping hand. For example, you could end up working with kids and we all know that they have bundles of energy!
Gets You in Contact with New People
Most people tend to stick pretty closely to their own social circle once they have built it up, but volunteering often brings you into close contact with a group of people that you may never have encountered in the past. For example, you may decide to work with older people who have a completely different outlook on life and knowledge to share with you. The simple act of getting to know people that you never would otherwise can help to give you a totally different outlook on life.
Provides New Job Prospects
Many employers like to see that potential candidates are well-rounded in their lives and volunteering can help to provide this. They know that volunteering helps to develop a whole host of skills which sets them apart from the crowd. Even if you don’t go into volunteering to boost your career, there is no doubt that it is an added bonus which is worth utilising if you can. Many top careers are highly competitive these days and this may well provide you with an edge ahead of other candidates. And many forward-thinking organisations are now offering the chance for employees to do volunteer if they would like to.
Volunteering is Fun!
Last but not least on the list of benefits of volunteering – it is fun! Many people view volunteering as something that seems like a chore, but a huge proportion of people love what they do and wouldn’t want to change it. A lot of the time, you end up working in a fast-paced environment in which a whole host of challenges present themselves on a daily basis.
So, there nine points listed above are just a few of the benefits that volunteering can bring to your life, both for other people and for yourself. In our increasingly busy lives, it can be a struggle to find the time you need, but even just giving over a couple of hours a week can make a big difference to your own life and the life of other people. Ultimately, you just need to find an area that you are passionate about and throw yourself in. You never know what surprising benefits you may experience until you give it a go.