Volunteer For Your Own Good

Volunteering has been proven to have positive affects on mental health and physical health.

Austin Kehmeier (Unsplash)

Volunteering has been proven to have positive affects on mental health and physical health.

Emma Matson, Staff Writer

Volunteering can sometimes be seen as tedious, dull, and unsatisfactory as you are getting nothing back in return, or it can be viewed as an opportunity to change the world and impact lives. Whatever your views, volunteering has actually been proven to improve your mental health and makee you a happier person.

Research has shown that volunteering helps you live longer, decreases depression, and helps you stay healthy. But how does that work?

Volunteering gives you a sense of duty and purpose. When you are helping other people, your purpose is to fulfill their needs and wants. Helping people gives you a purpose because in a way, you have their lives in your hands. You begin to feel like you belong somewhere which boosts your self confidence and relationships with others.

Volunteering gives you a purpose in life, and that purpose is to help others. (Ray Sangga Kusuma (Unsplash))

Building relationships with others will make you a happier person because they make you feel loved, seen, and heard. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to develop social skills such as becoming more outgoing and welcoming. These traits will help you to make more friends and create bonds with others.

Volunteering can also boost your career. Volunteering allows you to explore different tasks and jobs and meet people from different fields. Volunteering helps you get a taste of different jobs to see what you would like to do, such as working in a hospital, counseling, teaching, etc. The skills you gain from being a volunteer, such as communication, team work, organization, and management, will help you in other areas of your life as well.

Hayden Penney, a sophomore at Front Range Christian School, volunteers at Authentic Life Church in Littleton. He serves in the children’s ministry on Sundays and the middle school youth group on Wednesdays.

“My favorite part about volunteering is all the relationships and friendships I make with the kids and their parents and how I get to be a light in their life,” Penney said.

Hayden Penney (10) volunteers at his church and says it has made him a happier person. (Emma Matson)

Penney also said that being a volunteer has affected his mental health in an amazing way. He says he feels happier because he feels like he is making a difference and an impact in people’s lives.

“When I’m volunteering, I feel happier because I see people smiling and see their moods change from bad to really good,” Penney said.

Research has shown that volunteers are more satisfied with their lives, experience greater benefits, and become happier over time. People who do not volunteer are shown to be overall less happy and healthy. 

What are some ways that you could volunteer? In every city, county, and state, there will always be an opportunity to serve others. Look for volunteer positions at animal shelters, libraries, soup kitchens, churches, schools, and so many more places.

Serving others can create in us a humble and loving heart and cause us to change for the better. It may seem like when we volunteer we get nothing back in return, but we actually do. We are developing  better mental health, better relationships with others, better overall health, and a greater purpose in life. So what if we don’t get paid?

There are always opportunities to volunteer and serve others everywhere you go. (Brian Yurasits (Unsplash))

Just like Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.”