You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something for someone else 큐피드 비스트로 다운로드? Turns out those feelings do more than just making you feel fuzzy; they have a significant impact on your health. Yes, the idea that giving to others can be good for your health and happiness might feel like a bit of a stretch. But a growing body of scientific research shows exactly that. It is now clear that doing good for others, without any expectation of reward, improves your physical and mental health, and may even help you live longer.
Giving is good for you
Just how ‘good for you’ can it be? Studies suggest that volunteering can reduce your risk of early mortality by between 24% to 44%, even after accounting for factors like differences in prior health status.
From boosting self-confidence to lowering depression, there are several health benefits associated with engaging in community service. Studies have identified that regularly volunteering is associated with:
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower rates of high blood pressure
- Higher rates of physical activity
- Improved sense of purpose and social connection
- Lower stress levels and an improved resilience to stress
Giving is at the very core of community. It promotes a sense of trust and co-operation, and it’s this type of interaction that strengthens relationships and helps you feel closer to others. The act of giving also floods your brain with happy hormones, including oxytocin, the hormone that generates feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others.
The great thing is that you don’t have to spend money to give; you can get the same healthy and feel-good benefits from donating something, like your time or your expertise.
How to find the right volunteer group for you
Simply type ”volunteer in South Africa” into a Google search and you’ll be met with hundreds of exciting sounding opportunities. Obviously, any type of volunteering work you do will help others, but the real key to deriving health benefits from volunteering is to do it for the right reasons. Studies have found that participants who volunteered with some regularity lived longer, but only if their intentions were truly altruistic. In other words, they had to be volunteering to help others… not to make themselves feel better.
Before you hit the internet searching for the ideal volunteering opportunity, consider the following factors that will ensure that both you, and those who you are offering to help, gain the maximum benefit:
- Start with your passion – Animals? Children? Healthcare?
- Know what you have to offer: understand your own skillset, and be honest with what you have to offer.
- Understand your commitment level – don’t offer up more time than you have.
- Try to align your passion with reality – volunteering at an animal rescue centre when you are allergic to cats is unlikely to benefit anyone!
- Do your research on the types of organisations you would like to work with
Once you have a clear idea of who, or what, it is you’d like to assist, you can start your search and embark on your new journey! Aristotle once wrote that the essence of life is “To serve others and do good.” If the research is anything to go by, serving others might also be the essence of good health!
Can’t find anything that sparks an interest? Have a look at Forgood which matches up volunteers with needy organisations: https://www.forgood.co.za/