Volunteering: Good for your Mind, Body & Soul

Posted in Volunteering

Written by Connie Thimmig, Director of Enrichment Services

“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle Greek philosopher

Aristotle’s quote from circa 350 B.C. is definitely still pertinent today. When we choose to serve others and do good, it is not only gratifying, but helps the person volunteering too. During April we salute our Felician Village volunteers, those helping both on campus and in homes throughout the community as they participate in the Felician Village at Home program.

People of all ages choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers them the chance to give back to their community or to make a difference to a cause or the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. There is just something gratifying about it. If that is not enough, you may find some surprising benefits too.

Sharing your time and talent with others is good for your:

  • Mind- It increases self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone may be uncomfortable, but it is also necessary for growth. It can create a sense of pride and identity. Studies have shown that volunteering helps people feel more socially connected. Other studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Body- It lessens symptoms of chronic pain and lowering blood pressure. Studies show that adults over age 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. Though research is still evolving, there is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by making lifestyle changes, including participating in regular activity and maintaining good heart health. Soul- It shows your love.
  • It feels good to make a difference in the greater good: the life of someone else, your community, or a movement. Volunteering plays a role in making our society a kinder, more compassionate place. When others witness these genuine acts and feel the positive impact they have on another, it instills a desire to share.

While it is true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you will experience, volunteering does not have to involve a long-term commitment or take a large amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.

Whether you can share an hour or two a week or want to make a more significant time commitment, please consider becoming a Felician Village volunteer. Contact Connie Thimmig, Director of Enrichment Services, at 920.684.7171, ext 351, or click here.

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