By LEKPEA BUEKOR
Volunteering has long been a basic practice for some individuals. People every year give out their time, skills and resources without any intention of receiving any compensation. Although these volunteer exercises may be carried out with the motive of helping others, there is also a popular belief that those who give of themselves also receive.
Researchers also revealed that there seems to be a relationship between volunteering and its significant impact on the well-being of volunteers.
As a follow-up to the Volunteering Benefits article, Amazons Watch explores the relationship and benefits of volunteering on the volunteer’s well-being in this article.
- Impact of volunteering on the mental health
Several studies have pointed out the link between volunteering and its positive impact on mental health and enhanced life satisfaction. Volunteer activities can reinforce the social relations that keep individuals from going into isolation during difficult times, which often leads to depression while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth, satisfaction and trust.
A survey from Baltimore Experience Corporation examined adults over the age of 50 who volunteered in public schools assisting youth and adults of the same age who did not volunteer. The volunteers were reported to take more steps daily to enhance their mental health (even when they were not volunteering); they were less clinically depressed and had good cognitive skills than those who did not volunteer.
Also, the Journal of Adolescence stated that volunteering in large or small groups could boost teens’ feelings of self-worth.
Therefore, volunteering increases self-worth, which boosts self-esteem as a long-lasting characteristic.
- Volunteering decreases mortality rate and curbs illness
Volunteering, which could serve as a form of self-care, helps one to live longer.
A report from Health Psychology Journal showed that those who volunteered to be oriented with the neighbourhood and for non-self-serving purposes had 1.6% reduced chances of mortality and could live longer for extra four years.
Also, a Duke University study of patients with post-coronary artery disease revealed that volunteering is beneficial to those who suffer from chronic illness.
In the study, those patients who volunteered after their heart attack reported a drastic decline in despair and depression, two factors that have been associated with a raised possibility of mortality in these types of Individuals.
It has been is established that physical and mental health can be both an advantage and also an impediment to volunteering–that is, while volunteering may be beneficial to an individual’s well-being, poor health may hinder an individual’s potential to engage in volunteer activities.
Several reports have shown that those who volunteer at an earlier age are less liable to suffer from ill-health later in life.
A survey from the Americans’ Changing Lives survey affirms this fact. From this analysis, adults who engaged in volunteering activities had better health outcomes, increased evaluated health and physical functioning, and decreased levels of depression.
- Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and thus makes one happier
Volunteering may give a feeling that you are doing something meaningful and that as a means of fulfilling your purpose, you are assisting to do something impactful. Thinking about this can erupt some joy in you, knowing that you are useful and you are contributing meaningfully to the community.
Project Helping researched all of their volunteers. 96% of them stated that volunteering enhances their lives and a sense of purpose, leaving them more fulfilled and happy.
There is a substantial relationship between volunteering and good health; when individuals volunteer, they do not only help their community but also experience better health in later years. It could be in terms of increased longevity, greater functional ability, or lower rates of depression. The fulfilment that comes with volunteering is just therapeutic.
If you are looking for a natural way to boost your health and enhance your well-being, consider volunteering.
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