“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
During my childhood, whenever I traveled to school, I used to see an old homeless man on the street from the window of my crowded school bus. He lived on a dirty footpath in a shanty and wore tattered clothes. But what struck me most about him was not his shoddy appearance but how he behaved. If someone gave him some fruits, he would ensure that all his poor neighbors were fed first, before eating himself. I even saw him split whatever meager earnings he received from passersby with his friends. He really was the most kind-hearted and selfless man I’ve ever seen.
Volunteering is all about being selfless. Working for a cause you genuinely believe in, giving it your all, and expecting nothing in return but the satisfaction of having helped someone or something is a pretty amazing thing to do, isn’t it? In a world where time is such a painfully finite entity, spending it to help someone out is noteworthy, and it certainly is not without its benefits! In this article, let’s look at how volunteering can actually help you in your life.
Helps You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
A lot of us are comfortable with where we are in life. We don’t push our boundaries too much for fear of pain, stress, or humiliation. As a result, we don’t grow because we simply haven’t tested ourselves enough to even know what we are capable of achieving.
Volunteering is a way of pushing us out these walls of comfort that we have so conveniently built for ourselves. By being part of a new environment with its own set of challenges, you are required to take up new tasks to help the cause that is so close to your heart. These tasks could range from anything like teaching a class of children, to organizing an outreach event and assuming you don’t have much experience doing them, it’ll be necessary for you to develop these skills to actually make a difference. If you’re an introvert, you’ll learn how to interact with different people, if you aren’t great with time management, you’ll learn how to be better at it! With every new skill that you learn, you develop a sense of confidence because of which, you’ll be further inclined to step out of your comfort zone and test your limits.
The best part about volunteering is, since you’re already passionate about the cause which is why you’re volunteering in the first place, you wouldn’t be too averse to challenging your comfort zone. Volunteering gives you that initial push to test yourself, which seeps into other areas of your life as well.
Helps in Building Bonds and Connections
As human beings, we are social creatures. There is an innate need within us to make friends, build bonds, and connect with others.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to build relationships with a diverse group of people. You not only end up connecting with fellow volunteers or supporters but also bond with the people whom you’re helping. Since the former is working towards the same cause as you are, you’re likely to have a similar mindset which makes bonding all the more easier! And because you’re in direct contact with the cause, whether it’s to rebuild someone’s house ravaged by floods, or educating youth about dangers of drug addiction, you get a clearer picture of the conflicts you’re trying to resolve. This helps you connect better with the cause as well.
Not only do you get to meet new people and grow your network base, but volunteering also helps you interact better with people and strengthens your ties to the community you’re focused on improving. These ties that you’ve built have the potential to help you throughout your life, whether it’s to seek a job or just to have a conversation with a friend who has similar interests.
Improves Your Viewpoint on Life
It’s no secret that helping others makes one feel happier in life. This is one of the best benefits that volunteering has to offer. Since you’re helping that family rebuild their home, or providing shelter to an abused pet, you’re directly seeing the impact of your work. The fact that you’re bettering someone’s situation provides you with a deep sense of accomplishment and joy and gives you more meaning and purpose in your daily life.
And that’s not all! Volunteering has scientifically been proven to improve both your mental and physical well being—right from improving emotional stability and self-esteem, to helping you live longer.
By volunteering on a regular basis, you can escape the monotony of your daily routine in a meaningful manner. Besides, with all the health benefits you receive and the sense of purpose, you find in your volunteering duties, you’re likelier to be motivated, filled with creativity, and enthused about your life in general. Whether you’re volunteering in your neighborhood, or in a village halfway across the world, your perspective on life is bound to change for the better.
Sets a Good Example
We are all hardwired to copy and imitate each other. We can’t help it, it’s simply a part of what makes us human! This aspect of human nature definitely is an important indirect benefit when it comes to volunteering. When you do good and help the world become a better place, it provides motivation and serves as a reminder to the people in your life to do the same as well.
Whether it’s your children or your friends, by influencing them to volunteer, you’re instilling habits in them which are likely to last for a long time. Even they are skeptical, by seeing the improvements in your life they’d feel like volunteering too. Once they see the genuine impact of their work, they’d convinced of its importance.
This benefit of volunteering is an important one because with the more number of people who volunteer, the better it is for a particular cause.
Volunteering is an act born out of sincerity and love and is necessary to improve our world. Hopefully, by realizing how volunteering can help you convinces you to actually go out there and do your part for a cause, and in the process, become a better human being too.Tags: benefits, nonprofits, volunteering