Volunteering: The happiness effect

Why volunteer?

Volunteering offers help to people in need, worthwhile causes and the community, but the benefit can be even greater for you, the volunteer. Volunteering and helping others can help you reduce stress, fight depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and give you a sense of purpose.

Do you believe me? Well, I may have lied, but I don't think science does.

Helping others makes you happy, according to studies. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers. (Source: "Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A Practical, Easy Guide for Healthy, Happy Living", a special health report published by Harvard Health Publications.)

Volunteering does not have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. You can do volunteering on weekends. Well, I know some of the places where you can volunteer on weekends. One of them is the Komunitas Taufan community where you can volunteer and participate in supporting kids with cancer and other high-risk diseases. You can play together with them, read them stories, and do other fun stuff. Or you can join the Komunitas 1000 Guru to teach elementary kids in rural areas. They usually do the activity on Saturdays and then they go to the beach, a waterfall, etc. to explore the natural surroundings. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Interested? Well, let’s do it together then! :)

Happy volunteering! Let's contribute for a good cause!


(PS: This article was written by a quarter-century old alpha female who is addicted to volunteering.)

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