Volunteering Helps Others & Your Health

In the sprit of the holiday season, while we are all thinking about holiday shopping and what we want to get, it’s good to also help others in need. Not only because it’s the good thing to do but because according research, it could help us live longer and happier lives.

The University of Exeter Medical School reviewed 40 studies from the last 20 years and found a link between volunteering and your health.

According to their research, volunteering is associated with a 22%  reduction in mortality compared to non-volunteers, lower chances of depression, and a general increased well-being.     

Another set of research by Psychology Today, shows while volunteering is good, it only has health benefits for people who do it to help others and not just to help themselves.

They also found volunteering is good for those who are religious since it reaffirms their belief to help others.

So how does this work?

There is no set answer just various explanations. According to Psychology Today,it  could be because it keeps you active which keeps you physically fit which helps you handle stress better and live longer. Another explanation is that by volunteering, you make various social connections and interactions which release a hormone called oxytocin in the body which promotes that bonding and caring feeling for others. Volunteering also gives us a deep sense of happiness which is also associated with living healthier and happier lives, according to Psychology Today.

While it does have positive effects, too much can be a bad thing. There is no guideline on how much volunteering to do but ,according to Psychology Today, if it starts to become more of a “burden than a blessing” then you should scale it back.

So pick a cause you love to help others and in the process help your health.

Happy Holidays!