The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
5 Life-Changing Benefits of Volunteering
Desert Financial’s mission is to share success by giving back to our community — and we want to inspire our community and members to make volunteering their personal mission too. Here’s why!
Health Benefits of Volunteering
felt physically healthier
said volunteering improves their mood
felt less stressed
my.happyify.com: UnitedHealth Group survey of volunteers
Start giving a helping hand to those in need and you might reap some unexpected benefits! In addition to instilling a sense of belonging, volunteering can encourage feelings of gratitude and humility. Check out a few of the other life-changing benefits of giving back to others:
Make Kindness Your M.O.
Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. No matter how small, kindness as currency, like volunteering, has the power to make a difference in someone’s day. By spreading kindness, empathy and compassion can grow from within as well. You learn to understand people who are different from you and view the world from a new perspective. Also, kindness is contagious! A good deed can inspire someone else to spread altruism and pay it forward.
Get Out of Your Own Story
Helping others takes the focus off yourself and onto other people. According to noted happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, being too absorbed in your own life can actually diminish your happiness.1 It’s both productive and valuable to get outside of your head and give your mind a break by lending your time to others. Stepping outside of our bubble creates positive, rewarding experiences, which serve as reminders that the world is so much bigger than us!
Replace Things With Service
In the 2013 film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, author and self-described minimalist Joshua Becker advocates for people to own fewer possessions so they can direct their energies, resources and money toward something more meaningful than stuff.2 Buying something new brings temporary joy but supporting a cause that’s important to you triggers a helper’s high, followed by a deep sense of happiness over fleeting pleasure. Instead of filling your home with things, fill your heart and soul with purpose.
See the Goodness in Humanity
Does it feel like you can’t escape the negativity that seems to shadow our lives 24/7? From online bullying to self-absorption, faith in humanity gets lost. But by giving to the greater good, you’re surrounding yourself with positive vibes and connecting with like-minded people who open their hearts to others. There’s so much goodness in our neighbors and volunteering is an opportunity to experience it firsthand. Feel good about your impact and feel good about humankind(ness).
Discover an Untapped Passion
Find your passion! Do what you’re passionate about! Except — it’s not always easy to know what your passion is. Giving back is an opportunity to discover yours; maybe it’s helping children, repairing homes, volunteering at a dog shelter or working at a food bank. Seeing the lives you change through a newly discovered passion enriches your life too. If your life is void of a passion, consider supporting a cause that matters to you to discover an unanswered calling.
Interested in doing good? See which local nonprofits urgently need volunteers and look for one that interests you. Love adventure? Become a voluntourist and give back while traveling — or propose/organize an employee volunteer project at your company. Is your time scarce? Make a difference by donating to a charity! One study showed that globally, donating to a charity had about the same effect on happiness as doubling your household income!3
While many people choose to donate to a cause or volunteer simply because it’s the right thing to do, helping others can actually be good for you mentally, physically and socially. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you put a little more kindness out into the world — and maybe you’ll even meet a few great friends along the way!