Most people have done some form of volunteering or community work in their lives. But did you know that studies show it’s actually really good for your health and wellbeing to offer your time to help other people?
A study by the London School of Economics found that the relationship between volunteering and happiness was significantly positive. If you don’t volunteer, you are apparently 7% less happier than people who do. And when you volunteer every two to four weeks, you’re 12% happier. I don’t know how they figure out the science of this, but I believe it.
Here are some reasons I think it’s good for you to do some volunteer work:
1. Increased sociability
I find that volunteering for various organisations helps you make connections with people and build new friendships. In today’s society, it’s important to meet new people and build genuine friendships because we’re so connected with technology that we struggle to make friends in the real world.
2. Confidence building & pushing boundaries
When I’ve volunteered in the past, it’s involved doing something out of my comfort zone and pushed me to do different things. Let’s look at door-knocking; you’re told to go around a strange neighbourhood, knock on random doors and convince people to donate to a particular cause. How does that not boost confidence levels?!
3. Increases job prospects
Volunteering in a field that you’re particularly interested in makes volunteering all the more fun – and you get some industry experience. Doing career-related volunteer work will, undoubtedly, put you one step above the rest of the game. It shows you’re committed and are willing to learn.
4. Reduces stress
Now, I wasn’t sure if this was scientifically correct so I looked into it a little bit. Apparently Science Daily are conducting some tests to see if it’s true – and so far their suspicions are correct! I’m sure more research will be released in the near future.
So, where to next? How do you get get started and do some volunteer work? A lot of universities and TAFEs across Australia host volunteer and careers expos, so that’s a good place to get started and suss out the different opportunities.
If you don’t have access to these facilities, Go Volunteer is a great website that lists opportunities Australia wide. You could also do a quick Google search of the organisations you might like to be a part of and put your name down through that.
The opportunities are there if you look for them, and people are always looking for volunteers.
So don’t wait until tomorrow, get out and do it now – I promise you, you won’t regret it.