“Studies have indicated that volunteering is great for your mental health. It has been shown to decrease stress levels, depression, anxiety, and boost your overall health and satisfaction with life” -Susan Albers, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic
Individuals can use volunteering as a way to decrease their stress levels and to combat their feelings of depression and anxiety. When you are volunteering, you are not thinking about negative thoughts or your own worries, you are thinking about positive thoughts and how to transform your outlook on life. Volunteering allows you to feel like you have a purpose. Feeling a sense of purpose can leave you feeling recharged and motivated. With that, not only can volunteering help you mentally but it can help you physically. Volunteering helps you to be physically active whether you are cleaning up a park or serving meals at a shelter, it will help improve your overall physical health.
Volunteering has always been something that I loved to do growing up and now as an adult. My parents always taught me and my sister that volunteering was a great way to give back to the community. Not only was this a way to give back to our community but to the communities surrounding us. Throughout my time in high school, I went on spring break serve trips each year to many different states around the U.S. that were affected by natural disasters. When I would go on these trips, it was an amazing way to give back to the communities and a great way to connect with so many individuals. I always felt a sense of calmness and happiness when I would come back from these trips. Volunteering has been a way for me to release my negative feelings and shift those into positive feelings.
If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by Kara D, Undergraduate Intern 2023
Why Volunteering Can Benefit Your Mental Health
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