Volunteering helps others. That’s why we do it, to help make lives better.

But did you know that volunteering can be good for your health?

AARP’s Create the Good provides resources for those looking for volunteer opportunities, whether it’s building houses, coaching teams or working at summer camps. But it also lists the health benefits:

1. Fight depression

Volunteering increases social interaction. It also builds a support system based on common commitment and interests, both of which have been shown to decrease depression.

2. Creates a sense of purpose and fulfillment

It’s really that simple. Help others, and you’ll build confidence and self-worth.

3. Stay active

According to a 2009 study released by John Hopkins University, seniors who volunteer increase their brain function by staying mentally and physically active.

4. Stress, go away

You’ll improve your sense of meaning by spending time in service to others. That has a calming effect.

5. “The Happiness Effect”

That rush you get after a good workout comes from a release of dopamine in the brain. Helping offers has the same impact. The more you volunteer, the happier you become.

6. Live a little, live longer

Studies indicate that senior volunteers who give back enjoy longer, more fulfilling lives.

 

Source: AARP/Create the Good