Whether working with children, adults or pets, a meaningful connection can go a long way in taking your mind off your worries when you focus on something else. You are going to feel satisfied giving out your talent and time, which is going to reduce stress and improve your mood.
You can use volunteering to keep your mind from destructive habits like being overly critical of yourself and negative thinking. You will also feel more motivated because you get a sense of accomplishment. When you are done with a task, you start feeling like doing more because you start believing you can do and achieve more.
Preventing feelings of isolation
You can make new friends and grow your social network when you are volunteering. It is also good for your career because it can grow your professional network. Choosing some that you enjoy is going to increase the chances of meeting people sharing the same worldview and values. Like-hearted, like-minded people can come together for a shared interest. Whether it is campaigning for a political movement, building a community garden, or giving tours at a museum, the important thing is showing up consistently and introducing yourself warmly. You can easily end up creating friendships that will last you for a long time, even after you are done volunteering. This is great for people who consider themselves introverted and shy. You can break the ice easily as you help others during your volunteering.
There are volunteer options that need given skills. When you take the time to learn a new skill in an unfamiliar environment, there is mental stimulation that you wouldn’t have experienced. Taking the time to learn a new skill so you can make a difference is going to help in gaining a sense of pride and identity. This is going to help in having a more positive view of yourself.
Giving a sense of purpose and meaning
No matter the age, or if you are still in your prime or retired, you can give yourself a new purpose, fulfilment, and meaning in ways that will be different to what you have done in the past. Whether you are working with children, seniors, or animals, or helping after a natural disaster, being ready to do something to help in such times no matter how humbling can be great. It helps you by putting things in perspective and helping you grow compassion for others. You will also expand your worldview and mind at the same time.
It can be a good way of exploring different interests or even working alongside a master. It gives you a way to escape your daily routine, especially those who spend most of their time on their computer. If you want to spend more time outdoors and be more active, volunteering is a good option. Look for ones you love doing like volunteering at a youth soccer camp, walking for an animal shelter, or cleaning up the woods.
Making you happy
Research has been done on volunteering and they have found that brain activity and feel-good hormones spike. Human beings are wired to serve one another and be in a community. When you volunteer, it is hard not to impact a community. You will be contributing a lot by just showing up and doing whatever is needed. You are going to make the world a better place by helping those in need.
You can always find a volunteer that fits your physical mobility capacity, skill set, and time availability. Your local library, school, or church can always use some support. Whether it is going to a foreign country for a mission trip, tutoring a student, or being a baby cuddler at neonatal ICU in hospitals, there are a lot of options. The internet has also made things easy because you can volunteer remotely via computer or phone. Make sure the opportunity has enough support and social interactions so you can feel fulfilled and connected.