“To serve others and do good”
Volunteering with and helping others is a great way to enhance your mood and satisfaction with life. Studies show that people who spare their time and devote it to volunteering and helping others have a greater sense of social connectedness, which in turn wards off loneliness and low mood. Volunteering can have psychological effects on your mood and sense of well-being, but it can also have an impact on your physical health. A study outlined in Psychology and Aging, found that adults over the age of 50 who had volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than individuals who did not volunteer. This is because the act of volunteering is likely to reduce stress and high blood pressure is related to stress.
When we help others, we get a sense of fulfillment, humans are social animals and we thrive when we connect with others. Having compassion for and helping others can make us feel more grateful for what we have in our lives. This in turn makes us feel happier in the lives that we have a feel more content, knowing that we are helping others that are in need. Professor Stephen Post reviewed the existing literature on the benefits of helping others and volunteering, and concluded that “when we help others, we help ourselves”.
How you can get involved:
There are many places that you can volunteer with. First it might be useful to decide in what way you would like to volunteer (working with children, elderly, animals, homeless).
Here are some handy links to organisations you can get involved with.
So why not give it a try? Get out there and give some of your time to those in need in the knowledge that you’ll not only be helping others, but you’ll be helping yourself too!