There are lots of benefits of giving back to the community, and not just for the people you’re helping. We all know that helping others makes you feel happier, but it can also have benefits for your career and even your physical health. Let’s look at just some of the benefits of giving back to your community.
It helps your mental health
We already mentioned the “helper’s high” you get from just performing random acts of kindness, but it goes deeper than just an immediate surge of dopamine. Several studies have shown that volunteering over long periods of time can lead to less depressive symptoms in the volunteers. That means doing meaningful work actually helps combat depression!
It lowers your blood pressure
There’s also evidence to show that helping others lowers your blood pressure. This also means they are at lower risks for heart disease and stroke, though it requires many hours of volunteering over a long period of time to reap the benefits.
It helps your career
Volunteering is work, and you can put that work experience on a resume. Whether you are cooking in a soup kitchen or writing grants for free, you’re learning valuable skills that could help you land a job or further your career.
It increases your lifespan
A 2012 study found that older adults who volunteered were less likely to suffer mortality up to four years later. The caveat is that this benefit is linked to an individual’s motivation for helping out- they have to be genuinely looking to help others, not reaping the personal benefits.
Improves self esteem
Another benefit on your mood, besides the immediate dopamine surge and lowering depressive symptoms, is the improvement to your self esteem. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and increases life satisfaction, which in turn gives you a boost to your self esteem.
Helps your business or company
Volunteering as an entrepreneur or as part of a larger company increases your connection with the community. They will remember your generosity when it comes time to do business and you will also learn more about what the community wants and needs.