Benefits of volunteering you may not expect

People all over the world regularly devote their free time to contribute to a good cause. In 2021-22, 16 million people in England volunteered at least once a month, and every year, over a billion people volunteer worldwide.

Volunteering for a good cause is a pastime that brings with it several benefits—not only are you actively contributing to making the world a better place, but you’re also potentially helping to reduce suffering on the planet.

While volunteering has the power to improve life for others, there are also countless perks in store for the volunteer—here are just a few of them:

1. Increased confidence and happiness

When you volunteer for a good cause, you may be actively contributing to the happiness of others. But you’re also creating more happiness and confidence in your own life, too. Studies have shown that people who volunteer regularly report increases in self-esteem, confidence and satisfaction.

This is known as an intrinsic reward—a motivating factor that contributes to inner benefits rather than outer benefits like money or status. In other words, if you’re more focused on creating a life that feels good on the outside rather than one that looks good on the outside, volunteering is a great place to start.

2. Improved physical health

It seems like we’re all looking for the fountain of youth today, so you might be interested to learn that being a volunteer could help you turn back the clock when it comes to your health. In addition to its psychological benefits, volunteering can actually give your physical health a boost, too.

Studies have shown that those who engage in regular volunteering can actually have lower mortality rates, lower blood pressure, and a higher step count than people who don’t volunteer. So, volunteering may actually help you live a longer, healthier life while you help others do the same.

3. Stronger connections

It’s no secret that loneliness is an epidemic in today’s society. Technological advancements have made us more connected than ever, but many of us have never felt more disconnected from others.

Engaging in volunteering activities can give you a social outlet if you’re hoping to make more friends and connect with others because it gives you a chance to get out there and communicate with people IRL. Connecting with people face-to-face is a core component of feeling happier and less stressed, and volunteering is a great way to infuse more of this into your day.

What benefits have you noticed from regular volunteering? We’d love to hear from you!

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