By Admin, 2 years ago | Campers
When someone says the word ‘volunteering’ in front of you, what’s your first thought? It could be that they have plenty of free time and not enough hobbies. Or possibly that they’re exceptionally generous people who’d rather help others than rest on the couch in front of a good show. Perhaps they’re feeling guilty about their good fortune and giving back alleviates that emotion.
But don’t be so quick to judge.
While some people volunteer because they do—in fact—see it as a good way to spend their free time, others do it wholeheartedly for the betterment of their community. But we all know about the benefits that volunteering offers societies. Is that all there is to it?
Volunteering carries with it a great deal of personal development, which makes it one of the most rewarding endeavors out there. Few are the other things in life that can be done to benefit all parties involved with reach as far as the eye can see. In the following lines, let’s explore together the four main reasons why volunteering can be very important for your own personal development. And maybe you’ll be inspired!
You’re probably thinking about the mental health aspect and you’d be absolutely right. But we’re also referring to your physical well-being. Read on!
Volunteering has been proven to enhance a person’s overall mood—probably because of the endorphins running through their system as a reward for doing a good deed. This means that engaging in such an activity, in the long run, promises to reduce stress levels and elevate the overall sense of satisfaction and happiness with your life. It also promotes a sense of purpose, belonging, and accomplishment.
And what was that we said about physical health? First of all, reduced stress levels translate into less tension-induced physical symptoms such as headaches; an upset stomach; high blood pressure; chest pain; as well as issues with sexual performance and sleep. It is also known that high stress levels are linked to the onset of chronic conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, ulcers, and hair loss.
On the other hand, your volunteering experience may be a physical one that engages your muscles in ways that your desk job doesn’t—think: decorating the youth center for the next fundraiser. Now that’s a good workout!
No matter what your volunteering platform of choice is, chances are you’re going to meet some interesting and even exciting people. Whether it’s the individuals with whom you volunteer or the communities that your efforts aim to serve, let’s face it, you aren't likely to run into these people in your day-to-day circles.
Almost every volunteer organization works through—and for the benefit of—a network of people whose paths and efforts become inevitably intertwined. You’ll find that the majority of these associations tend to approach this community sense with a colorful, enthusiastic spirit. While volunteers and staff at Bolsta help children practice sports, the entire community involved gets to gain insights, share ideas, and be inspired. Other societies cater to all sorts of unique needs and interests, supporting causes like animal rights, victims of domestic violence, orphans, and many more.
By choosing one or several lines of volunteer work, not only will you be supporting a cause for which you deeply care, but you’ll be meeting like-minded people in the process. And who knows? You may end up fostering friendships that would last you a lifetime.
When you meet people outside of your usual circles of friends and family, you open up a whole other world of networking and possibilities. Who knows who you might be impressing with that public speech you gave at a function trying to raise funds for a cause? Or what kind of connections you might make while co-facilitating a training session for college students? And what about all of those other organizations reaching out for cooperation with your volunteering platform? The possibilities are endless.
Additionally, you would most likely be honing a set of skills that are more than useful for your own career. Some of those may include presentation skills; mastering various technology tools; communications and negotiation tactics; social media marketing; project management; training and leadership. It all depends on your chosen activity.
You read that right. While many people feel more comfortable putting their existing skills to good use through volunteer work, others choose to challenge themselves even further.
By pushing yourself out of the comfort zone for a good cause, you grow more inspired to learn about the world around you; the different ways of living in societies outside of your own; and possibly even pick up a new skill or two.
Not only will you be widening your horizons, but volunteering keeps your mind sharp and your problem-solving skills at the surface—you have no idea how many times organizations have to do with less than what was anticipated. Staying sharp that way plays a major role in enhancing your long-term and short-term memory, and reducing your risk of developing age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Inspired yet? The beauty of volunteering is that it’s a chosen commitment—there are plenty of ways and directions you can go, and they would all be a good start.
The first thing you might want to do is speak with family and friends who have been volunteering, to listen to their experiences and advice. You should also do your homework and look online for all the possible ways you can get involved and make a difference. Whether your volunteering will be remote and online or physical and face-to-face, you’ll be surprised at how many people will be eager to help guide you.
Make sure that you remember the 4 points mentioned here the next time you think about what you can do to give back to society and to do something for the betterment of your health as well. And most importantly, pick a cause that sparks your interest and truly moves you. There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing the fruit of your own participation materialize right in front of your eyes.