Three ways that volunteering can change your life

November 3, 2015

Selfless actions impart so many benefits on you, and the following three ways that volunteering can change your life will prove it. By giving your time to a larger cause, you not only change the lives of others for the better but you improve yourself at the deepest layer possible: you can change your own perspective on life. This profound shift will impact many aspects of your day to day, but here are the top three ways that volunteering can change your life like nothing else in the world.

Three ways that volunteering can change your life

1. Experience a true community

From school to work, most people have a daily life that revolves around competition. While friendships are made in these realms, these competitive environments deeply influence the nature of these relationships so that a true cooperative and collaborative spirit is more rare. Volunteer work is quite the opposite.

Because volunteers have selfless intentions and nothing commercial to gain from the experience, the competitive spirit is not just obsolete, it is downright counterproductive. Volunteering offers us a chance to experience a true community based on the joy of selfless service, which stands in sharp contrast to the foundation of fear for self survival behind most competitive activities.

2. A boost to the health

Selfless service incites a shift of perspective that imparts a feeling of wellness and has physical benefits as well. In fact, a 2005 University of Minnesota study found that older people who volunteered reported better mental and physical health than those who did not, including lower depression levels and superior mortality rates.

Other research has found that those that volunteer on a regular basis have lower levels of chronic pain as well as higher immune system responses than those that do not volunteer. Again, the change in perspective involved in doing for others may be a powerful psychological trigger that can vitally change your life at the physical level as well as the social.

3. Gain meaningful work experience

Everyone wants a job that makes a difference in the world and still pays the bills, but that can be hard to find. Volunteering with an organization that you believe in not only puts you in direct contact with the kind of people that are hiring at that organization, it can add relevant experience to your resume in ways that even education cannot match.

By giving you the skills and experience you need in a given field and connecting you to the actual network of those employed in that field, volunteering can advance your career in a meaningful field like nothing else.

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