“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves”
– Helen Keller
Truth-tellers are not always palatable – which is why there’s a general tendency towards candy bars, instead of the dreaded weighing scale. In addition, to unhealthy eating, our fast-paced professional lives have made it quite challenging to find ‘me-time’ to work-out, or invest in healthier indulgences. To some extent, our inability to find time for ourselves could probably be attributed to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) as well. Finding the ‘me-time’ is always harder than one would imagine.
We have a solution for you though. Something that’ll help leverage that FOMO for the better too! The solution being not saying ‘No’ to the right things – like Volunteering!
Here are 5 reasons why volunteering is a must:
Volunteering makes you happy: Research and psychologists insist the ‘joy of giving’ can work as a dose of dopamine – happy hormone – for the brain. Volunteering certainly activates yourhypothalamus enough to release ‘the happy hormone’. 🙂
Studies confirm volunteering counteracts the consequences of anger, anxiety and stress. We all know meaningful human connections act as the best stress busters. Research also suggests working with pets and animals improve mood by reducing anxiety and stress.
Volunteering makes you physically active: With most of us working in desk-bound jobs, volunteering provides opportunities to get out and move some muscles. You can always use your weekend to help the neighbourhood kids run a ‘safai abhiyan’ in your locality.
Research shows that volunteers are less likely to develop high blood pressure and heart diseases. Further, another research suggests volunteering helps lessen symptoms of chronic pain. A geriatric care study also points out that people who volunteer retain better cognitive and critical thinking skills well into their old age.
Volunteering combats depression: Oh yes! Volunteer work lets you be part of a community. You develop a solid support system beyond your family, friends, and colleagues. Plus, measuring brain activity and hormone levels, researchers have found being helpful brings immense pleasure. As humans, we are hard-wired to give to others – the more we give, the happier we feel.
And your brain releases hormones that help to fight depression.
Volunteering provides a sense of purpose: Some older adults lack a sense of purpose after their retirement or losing a spouse. Sometimes, a messy divorce or kids-leaving-the-nest alters life’s course; something people find hard to cope with. For women, hitting menopause heralds a life-changing experience which may cause their sense of purpose to plummet.
Irrespective of age or situation, you can find a new zeal for life by helping others. Teaching underprivileged children to read and write, or helping dowry victims rebuild their lives can take your mind off your worries.
Solving others’ problems can stimulate your brain; and volunteering may add fun and adventure to your life, way beyond your imagination.
Volunteering boosts confidence: Volunteer work certainly gives you a sense of achievement. It is one of those activities that gives you opportunities to learn – perhaps even master handy skills like teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning and more. Additionally, you gain experience in new fields that interest you and meet new people that enhance your people skills.
In the long run, volunteering may set your career apart – enriched by your valuable and unique experiences.
Now that you know the benefits of volunteering, jump-start your ‘journey of giving’ by signing up for an activity under Tata Volunteering Week 7. Watch how addictive it gets once you take that first step; nothing can stop you once you’ve made up your mind to Chase it, Change it.