Research now proves that sharing your time with others for a good cause can improve your overall happiness and mental well-being
Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression.
“Volunteering is a pathway through which you can increase brain activity” (Michelle Carlson, Johns Hopkins University.)
Volunteer activities may be performed with the core intention of helping others, there is also a common wisdom that those who give of themselves also receive. Researchers found the benefits that volunteers receive, including the positive feeling, referred to as “helper’s high,” increased trust in others, and increased social and political participation.
Volunteering should be promoted by public health, education and policy practitioners as a kind of healthy lifestyle.
Research published today by Citizens Advice Bureau indicates that volunteering boosts self-esteem, employability, and health – especially mental health.
Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It’s Good to be Good by Stephen G. Post.
94% of people who volunteered in the past 12 months say that volunteering improves their mood. (United Healthcare Study)
80% of people who volunteered in the past 12 months say they have control over their mental health. (United Healthcare Study)
A systematic review and meta-analysis led by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in England found that volunteers reported lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction, and enhanced well-being.
This study examined similarities and differences between persons with and without disabilities on volunteering, donations and group participation.
(1) Volunteering among senior citizens improves their mental well-being; (2) Few previous studies reported volunteering improves physical health such as protection for mortality and incidence of disability, compared to mental well-being.
Adults 50+ who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. (Carnegie Mellon study)