The healing touch of volunteerism

Members of Royal Neighbors Chapter 5146

Volunteerism is a remarkable practice that not only benefits communities but also has a profound impact on individual health and well-being. As our founders understood, when we lend a helping hand, we not only make a positive difference in the lives of others but also nurture our own physical, mental, and emotional health.

Reduced Stress Levels

Engaging in volunteering and acts of kindness triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of connection and reduces stress. Additionally, volunteering often involves activities that take our minds off our worries, providing a welcome break from the daily grind.

Enhanced Mental Health

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and fosters a positive outlook on life. Numerous studies have shown that regular volunteer work can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety and help individuals cope better with the challenges they face.

Physical Health Benefits

Volunteering can also have a positive impact on physical health. Engaging in volunteer activities often involves physical tasks, such as gardening or participating in charity runs. An increase in physical activity is linked to many health benefits.

Social Connection

One of the most significant advantages of volunteerism is the opportunity to build meaningful social connections. Loneliness and isolation can have detrimental effects on health, including an increased risk of heart disease and cognitive decline. Volunteering brings people together and can invite more fun into your life.

Increased Happiness

When we help others, it triggers a sense of fulfillment and happiness. This “helper’s high” is the result of the brain releasing endorphins, which are natural mood-lifters. The happiness derived from volunteering isn’t short-lived; it can have lasting effects on an individual’s overall well-being.

Personal Growth

Volunteering encourages personal growth, empathy, and a broader understanding of the world. This personal development can lead to increased self-awareness, confidence, and new skill development fostering a more fulfilling life.

The health benefits of volunteerism are well-documented. By giving our time and energy to help others, we can experience reduced stress, improved mental and physical health, increased happiness, and a greater sense of purpose. In a world where stress and disconnection are prevalent, volunteerism is a powerful antidote, offering a remedy for individual health and a source of positive change in our communities.


Sources: American Heart Association, Center for Disease Control, Mayo Clinic Health System