Health Benefits of Volunteering
We already know that an active lifestyle lends itself to overall good heart health, but how many are aware of the benefits of volunteering? Recent years’ studies have shown that volunteering anywhere from one to three hours per week may even help us enjoy a longer life. Volunteering not only gets us out but gets us “out of ourselves.”
We may not realize it, but over time, too much of what may have started as a good thing can actually prove detrimental. We all need and vie for that “alone-time,” but how much is too much? If you should find yourself becoming more isolated in an effort to gain self-awareness or simply choose to socially withdraw in an attempt to escape some personal difficulty or hardship, be forewarned, it can be a precursor to depression.
Research conducted by Carnegie Mellow back in 2013 showed evidence that people who volunteered at least 200 hours per year were 40% less likely to develop hypertension. Other research established that volunteering only 100 hours per year is beneficial to overall health. Well, that’s good, but how does this happen?
It was found that people who offer their services in an altruistic manner are simply happier than those who do not because by doing so we take the focus off of ourselves and into meeting the needs of others. It also helps us put our own trials into perspective; thereby lessening stress and reducing anxiety. Political psychologists have discovered that widening one’s social circle contributes to higher self-esteem and sense of purpose.
There are three elements to a sense of purpose:
- A sense of direction.
- A goal for which to strive.
- A sense of meaning.
Stress, depression and all negative emotions affect our bodies, especially our cardio system. The opposite can be said of optimism and satisfaction, which are related to a sense of purpose. This is why connection and emotional support to others is essential to our own wellbeing. Essentially, if you want a healthier heart, first start with a benevolent one.
If you’d like to read more on the benefits of volunteering, refer to the study published here in the
National Center for Biotechnology Information.
There are many opportunities in our communities where we might offer our much-needed gifts of time and talent, however, what better place to start than right here at home?
Fellowship Garden State Hospice is one such organization that would benefit from your generosity. Only a few hours of your time can make all the difference in the world. Hospice volunteers provide emotional support, companionship, and respite to the terminally ill and their families in New Jersey. Consider joining this phenomenal hospice care group and make a difference today!
Your HEART will LOVE you for it!
To learn more, contact Carolyn Vadimski at 908-432-7277 firstname.lastname@example.org or Josephine Mazzeo at 908-797-1635 email@example.com. Fellowship Garden State Hospice is dedicated to providing care to meet the spiritual, physical, social and emotional needs of terminally ill individuals and their families residing in the New Jersey counties of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren.