It is a proven fact that volunteering makes you feel good, but did you realize that it also results in improved physical and mental health? Helping others can diminish the effects of serious and minor disorders, both psychological and physical. Studies have shown volunteering can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, boost immune systems, relieve the impact of stress, and improve self-esteem.
Helping others doesn’t have to require a lot of time and you can set a volunteer schedule that works best for you. Volunteering is a great way to gain a whole new perspective on life. There is conceivably no other self-improvement endeavor—physically, mentally, or spiritually—that rewards you as richly as volunteering to do something important for someone else. Go share your gifts!
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference, here are some easy ways you can start:
- Coaching – check your local parks and recreation website to learn more about getting involved with after-school programs or summer camps for youth sports.
- Mentoring – give your support through public schools or libraries to help at-risk students stay in school and graduate.
- Delivering meals – nearly 9 million seniors in America face the threat of hunger, by volunteering for Meals on Wheels you can help those in your community.
- Rescuing animals – if you don’t have the ability to adopt, consider fostering an animal from your local shelter, to provide temporary love until they find a home.
- Joining community cleanup day – check your local newspapers and TV stations for adopt-a-road or park cleanup projects to help beautify your community.