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FIND YOUR TRIBE THROUGH VOLUNTEERING

Many people long for a sense of belonging and purpose, for something bigger than themselves, for somewhere to feel valued and connected. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer, however, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family and your community. Volunteering in a group is a bonding experience that can change your life, reduce stress, find friends, connect in a new way with the community, learn new skills and even advance your career. Finding ways to create shared experiences with those living around you often leads to a healthier and fulfilling life.

Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. Working with pets and other animals have also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.

Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.

Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better-thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Visit Volunteer Jersey to find a role that is suited to you and your community.