6 Reasons Why Volunteering Can Make You Happier

May 27, 2022

It is nearly impossible to find someone who has helped another and not enjoyed it. Helping an elderly man cross the road or helping a stranger seeking directions can brighten up the day for everyone involved. Helping someone in need can be a tremendous aid to them without you even knowing it. Your kind gesture made another person feel secure, saved their time, and helped them feel a sense of belonging. So why not give virtual volunteering a shot? 

The question, “Does volunteering make you happier?” has a simple answer to it. The answer is, “yes, it does.” 

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study in 2020 that analyzed data from approximately 70,000 people about their volunteering practices and mental health. People who volunteered in the previous year reported higher life satisfaction and better overall health than those who did not. Furthermore, volunteers who volunteered more regularly (at least once a month) had better mental health than volunteers who volunteered relatively less frequently. 

These are some ways in which virtual volunteering can increase your happiness:

  1. A means to connect with people

Volunteering is an excellent approach to strengthening social bonds. This is due to something known as "prosocial behavior," which indicates that what we do benefits others - examples include assisting, sharing, contributing, and volunteering.

According to a study, this is an excellent approach to engaging with your community and forming healthy relationships through fostering trust, cooperation, and respect for variety. 

Volunteering is a vital and enjoyable method to meet people from various age ranges, ethnicities, and social groupings with whom you might not otherwise interact. Because volunteering is accessible to all, it allows you to meet individuals from different walks of life, which can only broaden your horizons.

  1. Volunteering enhances one's self-esteem and confidence.

Giving back to people and the community fosters a natural sense of accomplishment. Volunteering can also give you a strong sense of belonging, while also helping to enhance your self-confidence by moving you out of your comfort zone.

A report from the National Youth Agency seems to back up this claim. Volunteering had boosted their self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-belief, according to young people aged 11 to 25. This increase in self-assurance was found to be highly associated with increased communication skills, particularly among young volunteers who were previously hesitant to meet new people.

  1. Volunteering can help your mental and physical health

Recent research from Carnegie Mellon University (2013) found that adults over 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely than non-volunteers to develop high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is an essential health indicator since it increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and mortality.

Volunteering and mental health, the advantages are obvious. It can aid in the treatment of stress, sadness, and anxiety. Indeed, the social contact part of assisting others can have a significant impact on your mental health.

  1. Volunteering can fuel your sense of purpose

People typically prefer to offer their time to topics or organizations that they believe are important or to which they have a unique connection since volunteering involves deciding to labor without receiving monetary remuneration.

If you're a supporter of equality and education for all, you could volunteer with NGOs supporting those causes, for example. Perhaps you've been diagnosed with a disease or have recovered from one and want to donate some of your free time to a charity that assists others who are suffering from the same problem. 

Volunteering in this way helps to address a societal problem that is important to you and, as a result, helps to develop a feeling of purpose, which in turn increases your happiness.

  1. Volunteering can help your career

Volunteering experience can be quite beneficial in an increasingly competitive work market. It demonstrates to potential employers that you are self-motivated and prepared to volunteer your time to make the world a better place for others.

Furthermore, volunteering increases your chances of securing a job by allowing you to put crucial workplace abilities like communication, cooperation, problem-solving, planning, and organization into practice. Indeed, if you have never worked full-time, volunteering is an important approach to demonstrate your abilities when you do go for job interviews.

  1. Volunteering triggers your ‘feel-good’ emotions

Helping others activates the mesolimbic system, a reward pathway in the brain. It releases neurotransmitters that make you feel nice, like oxytocin and vasopressin. The "helpers high" refers to the buzz you experience from these neurotransmitters.

This generates a "feel-good" loop in which oxytocin makes you more likely to be kind, generosity produces more oxytocin, and generosity makes you more likely to be generous again.

To Conclude 

Volunteering clearly has numerous advantages, including improved physical and mental health, making new friends,  avoiding loneliness, a sense of purpose, and increased self-confidence. As a result, all of these factors will contribute to your overall happiness.

If you're thinking of volunteering, you should first consider the causes you are enthusiastic about; this will help you enjoy and stay devoted to your profession and your volunteer project. Sign-up with Chezuba to volunteer virtually with organizations from around the world. 

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