Have you ever volunteered? Doing charity work and performing acts of altruistic kindness can be very rewarding as you’re able to contribute to the wonderful people and causes around you.
But it’s not all about what you can give to others – volunteering can help you, too! In fact, it can make you feel more positive and can even help your life move forward. Here are 5 ways volunteering can help with inner growth and happiness.
1. Volunteering Provides You With Valuable Reminders
Life can get very hectic, and when you’re caught up in your own world, it’s hard to take the time to pause and remember important things to keep in mind. Volunteering can help provide the most crucial daily reminders to your life that will keep your spirits up and progress constant, so you never lose sight of what matters. Here are the reminders volunteering can provide:
· To Be Grateful
Life is full of ups and downs, but what matters most is learning how to find the silver linings in every dark cloud. Being able to shift your perspective to more positive thinking can uplift your mood, bringing you greater happiness. When you volunteer, you’ll see people from all walks of life in many difficult situations, and you’ll remember to be grateful and appreciative of every aspect of your life, taking nothing for granted. The more you practice gratitude, the happier you’ll be, and the brighter your life will seem as you grow through trials with a smile on your face.
When you’re volunteering, you have to put away your worries and devices, and distractions and focus on doing the tasks you’ve been assigned. You’ll be more aware of the actions you perform and you’ll stay in the present moment, which is a key part of the highly positive habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness means the ability to be aware of your environment, senses, and physical and mental state, allowing you to connect with yourself and release worries for the future and ruminations of your past. Regular mindfulness can make you happier and facilitate your growth as you learn to better manage your emotions and experiences while gaining more resilience.
· That You’re Part Of Something Bigger
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own personal little world and forget that you’re a small cog in a huge wheel of the world. You can get wrapped up so quickly in your personal struggles that you forget that the world around you is so much bigger than that. Volunteering can give you the chance to be aware of your connection to others and who you fit into the big picture and how your actions can help those around you. It’s a fantastic reminder that’s great for happiness and growth!
2. Volunteering Is Good For Your Mental Health
It goes without saying that your mental health determines how happy you feel, and the truth is that inner growth depends on healthy psychological wellbeing, too. When your mental health is suffering, it’s much harder to focus on improvement as all your energy has to go into survival. Here are some ways that volunteering is good for your mental health, which facilitates growth and happiness:
· Improved Self-Esteem
Volunteering puts you out in the world, encouraging you to interact with others, try new things, and watch the power that your altruistic actions can hold. When you see how much of a difference you make and how well your skills develop in a safe context, you’ll find your confidence rising. These bits and pieces you pick up from your charity work will have positive effects on your happiness and growth in the long run through your improved self-esteem.
· Fighting Anxiety and Stress
Working with other people can help you to ease your stress and anxiety as you connect with others and work with those who are grateful for the help. You’ll find that the meaningful connections you build make you feel less worried and nervous about day-to-day life, which can help you a lot when it comes to happiness.
· General Happiness
Studies have found that volunteering increases happiness significantly, providing a sense of accomplishment while promoting the growth of skills and the chance of feelings of achievement. Your positive thinking can skyrocket because of all the different factors involved with volunteering: social interaction, skillset growth, accomplishment, the rewards of kindness. The list is endless, but the bottom line is that happiness from volunteering is scientifically proven.
· A Sense Of Purpose
People often need to feel a sense of purpose in life in order to feel fulfilled or to gain the motivation necessary to work on themselves and their goals. You can find direction in your life to help your progress and wellbeing by volunteering, which broadens your horizons and gives you greater insight into the things you may find worth doing.
3. Volunteering Can Build Connections
Connections are a part of being human. Being connected to other people is a key factor in happiness and inner growth, even among introverts. Everyone needs some degree of social interaction and you can find that easily in volunteer work. Here are some ways you’ll be connected!
· To New People
Volunteering allows you to meet fellow volunteers, people in need, and even valuable contacts for your personal future. It’s a fantastic way to gain friends and build your public relations in a way that helps other people. By meeting new individuals, you will grow both internally and externally, and chances are that new, compassionate friends will make you feel happier, too.
· To Your Family
Lots of people volunteer with their families, and it can be a great way to bond with each other. Inner growth and happiness can often come from forging deeper connections with your loved ones. The closer and better your home life, and the more you grow together with those you care most about, the happier you’ll be and the better your collective improvement!
· To Your Community
When you volunteer at local organizations, you’re becoming more entrenched in your local community. You’ll put in the work and effort and see it bear fruit in the environment that you live in. What you give, you also receive, which makes such work extra rewarding. This service can facilitate your personal growth while making you feel happier, especially as you become more deeply connected socially to those around you, says research.
· To Social Skills
Social skills don’t come naturally to everyone, and it’s okay if they don’t do so for you! Volunteering can help you build these skills as you interact with other people, from volunteers to those you’re helping. You’ll have no choice but to put your social skills to work. As they build over time, so will your happiness and confidence.
4. Volunteering Can Forward Your Career
At its core, volunteering isn’t about you, but about the people around you and the people you get to help. But that doesn’t mean that some of your happiness and growth can’t come from the helpful tidbits of personal gain that you’ll receive by proxy of the work that you do.
Here are some ways that volunteering can forward your career, facilitating your growth and potentially improving happiness and positive thinking through these means:
· You’ll Learn Better Soft Skills
Jobs always want you to have a good list of workable soft skills, and it helps when you have the proof necessary to back that up. As a volunteer, you’ll learn to plan, communicate, work with others, organize things, manage tasks, solve problems, and think on your feet. When you have this as evidence of your ability, you’ll be a much more attractive hire when you’re seeking work.
· You’ll Learn Novel Skills
When you’ve done one thing for most of your life, it’s tough to find the time and energy to devote to widening your horizons. Volunteering can help you do that, teaching you new skills relevant to where and why you volunteer and letting you walk away with more knowledge than you came in with. It’s a fantastic way to improve yourself while doing good!
· You Can Seek Direct Career Experience
If you have the opportunity to choose where you’re volunteering, you can pick something that is in line with your current career. It’s a fantastic way to gain experience in a way that is worth the extra energy and time spent. Plus, it’s one of the few ways where gaining experience without being paid is actually genuinely rewarding!
5. Volunteering Helps You Grow As A Person
Volunteering facilitates inner growth and happiness because it is a crucial ingredient to personal development and improvement. It drives that elusive inner growth in a direct and unstoppable way! Here’s how:
· Gaining New Perspectives
The people you volunteer for and with will have different ways of looking at the world than you do. They’ll have eyes that have seen different things and lives that have been lived so vastly different from yours. While you won’t always be privy to all of their experiences, you will get to see bits and pieces of their paradigms over time. It’s hard to grow without listening to the thoughts and perspectives of others. So volunteering is a great way to expose yourself to diverse opinions and viewpoints.
· Changing Your Routine
Do you ever feel that you’re stuck in the same mundane routine day in and day out? This kind of monotony could be stifling your inner growth and it could be boring you into unhappiness. By volunteering, you’ll break up that dull and drab routine and spice it up with new, enticing things that help you grow and break free from your status quo.
· Leaving Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to want to stay in your comfort zone for the rest of your life. Leaving it can be intimidating and frightening, but staying in it stunts your personal growth. And what’s more, if happiness is what you seek, you won’t find that positive thinking by staying in a bubble. Volunteering can help you to slowly make your way out of that zone, and stepping outside of it this way often feels a lot more doable than doing so in areas like your career, so you’ll feel more encouraged to try it out.
Volunteering is an incredible way to leave your mark on the world and make other people’s lives better. Besides that, it’s also a wonderful way to facilitate your happiness and growth at the same time. As it turns out, altruism pays off in more ways than one!