The Alignment Covenant

The Not So Obvious Benefits of Volunteering

Over the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in the health benefits of volunteering rzkrdky. This interest has come from various communities – social researchers, recovery researchers, workplace researchers and other general health researchers. The questions posed seek to relate active volunteering back to higher quality of life in a variety of areas. Thus far, all of the research has yielded very positive and encouraging information!

What’s So Great About Volunteering?
As it turns out, it is a great myth that volunteering primarily helps those being served. Those who serve – the volunteers themselves – receive just as much of a benefit, and perhaps even more! For example, did you know that doing volunteer work after recovering from a heart attack could literally strengthen the heart (the muscle) itself? Volunteering also makes its benefits known in other subtler ways. For example, many volunteers report experiencing more states of happiness and less depression after service, which is something we could all benefit from.

How Much Volunteer Time is Enough?
Everyone is so busy – this is a given in today’s never-sleep society. But the good news here is, it doesn’t take a lot of volunteer hours to produce the benefits. Just one or two hours per week is enough to stimulate the production of oxytocin and other feel good hormones that can boost your immune system, strength feelings of goodwill and connection, promote new neural connections (which is what happens whenever we strive to learn a new skill) and other positive benefits.

In today’s culture, it is even possible to volunteer over the phone or the internet – you can serve as a mentor or hotline worker, process applications or forms from home or even help with non profit mailings as a home volunteer. If you want to serve, there is an opportunity that is right for your available time and life situation.

What Type of Volunteer Work is Best?
One fact rises to the forefront here – all the research on volunteering shows the benefits only come when you pick a cause you deeply care about.

This isn’t because volunteers don’t strive to do a good job for causes that don’t hit home. Rather, it is because the more you care about a cause, the more aware you are of your desire to volunteer to help others, rather than to reap volunteering’s many benefits for yourself.

Volunteering’s Most Hidden Benefits
Some of the most hidden benefits of volunteering do sound self-serving, but there is truth to the saying that when one person is uplifted the whole world is uplifted.

One hidden benefit to volunteering at Alignment Covenant Health clinic, for instance, would be to help you experience what it might be like to work in a health clinic. If you are considering changing your profession or changing jobs within your profession, or you are still in school and exploring various job opportunities, volunteering is a great way to get on-the-job experience, improve your resume, network and begin your career transition.

Another well hidden volunteering benefit can be seen in the tangible improvements to the community that come when a population is well served, well fed and well taken care of. The presence of caring volunteers in a community can transform the entire area, making it safer, lowering crime, bringing the local residents together, generating more revenue to help the people and giving young people a chance to thrive.

Volunteering is a very personal endeavor and no two volunteering experiences are ever exactly alike. What is important is to find a cause you care about that is right for you!

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